Nyjer Morgan gets the day off
Washington Nationals starting center fielder Nyjer Morgan is scheduled sit out tonight's game against Pittsburgh to get some rest, Manager Jim Riggleman said.
Morgan has been on the upswing at the plate since being moved out of the leadoff spot and into the No. 2 slot on May 31. Since then, he has hit .286 with six runs in 10 games batting second. That's a marked improvement from his struggles in May, when he hit .223.
There was some thought that Morgan, who bats left-handed, would be out of the lineup because the Nationals are facing left-handed starter Zach Duke, but Riggleman indicated otherwise.
"Not so much against the lefty, just a day off," Riggleman said. "As we get on a pace, and you see what guys are going to end up with, I don't want to look back on the year and feel like we wore him out. I don't want him to get 640 at-bats or something. If he gets 550 or so, that means we sent him out there, and he was strong every time we sent him out there. We won't wear him out."
Morgan leads the Nationals with 224 at-bats, and he's tied for third on the team in games with 58. For the season, Morgan is batting .254 and is tied for third on Washington with 57 hits. Morgan leads the team in steals with 12, although he has been caught stealing a team-high nine times. He's also tied for the league-lead in triples with five.
With Morgan out of the lineup, Roger Bernadina moves from right to center field, and Michael Morse will start in right.
"He's is a high-energy guy," Riggleman said of Morgan. "We're just going to have to find some days to sit him down and see if he can help us late in the game in some manner, but just get him off his feet a little bit."
June 10, 2010; 5:38 PM ET
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