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Posted at 11:58 AM ET, 02/16/2011

Long toss: Can Nyjer Morgan bounce back?

By Washington Post editors

Yesterday, Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman stressed the importance of hitters at the top of the lineup getting on base with greater frequency. "Ryan Zimmerman has been such a consistent guy for us," he said. "It's a little deflating if he comes up to the plate and there's not some action going on there in front of him."

Adam Kilgore blogged:

The Nationals are counting on [Nyjer] Morgan to return to form at the leadoff spot. Prior to last season, he carried a .362 on-base percentage in 826 plate appearances. He sputtered to a .319 on-base percentage last year.

Commenter dargregmag concurs:

IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT MORGAN AND [Ian] DESMOND SET THE TABLE!!! without them getting on we play dr. longball and we're well on our way to another triple digit loss season.

What do you think? Can Morgan bounce back from last season?

By Washington Post editors  | February 16, 2011; 11:58 AM ET
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No reason to believe that Morgan won't bounce back. Prior to last season, he had a career mark of .303/.362/.391.

Add to that the fact that Ian Desmond--when batting second in the lineup--hit .326/.359/.489 (with 16 homers and 80 RBI assuming a full season) and Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth should get some significant RBI opportunities.

Posted by: rushfari | February 16, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse


I was hoping that with the start of spring training, and more frequent posts from Adam, that these idiotic "Long Toss" cereal fillers would go away. Apparently not.

Trolls have already made the comment section virtually unreadable; evidently the WP "editors" are determined to make the blog entirely so.

Posted by: joebleux | February 16, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

To "Washington Post editors" (also known as the people with the dumb questions):

Yes, Morgan can bounce back. How likely it is that he will is more difficult (and relevant) question.

Posted by: BPupp | February 16, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I agree with BPupp but all you have to do is take a look at guy who is familiar to the Nats, Coach Marquis Grissom is a perfect example that as you get into your 30's it seems the speed slows down like a running back in the NFL that takes too many hits so you have to rely on better instincts.

If Nyjer can't steal bases with good profiency and get that OBP above .340 then he isn't much use as a starter IMHO and has to be a role player like a Willie Harris which I don't see working out.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | February 16, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Darn. I was so hoping today's Long Toss would have visa problems and be unable to report. Surely Washington Post editors have better things to do. Might I suggest getting all over Kilgore's copy like white on rice?

Posted by: FeelWood | February 16, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty suspect on Morgan's ability to bounce back. We shall see. I'm hoping to see Corey Brown make a push for the spot if Morgan can't get it together.

And for all of the amateur editors complaining about the writing. You sound almost as knowledgeable as armchair fans giving advice as to how to run a baseball team.

Blogs trade polish for expediency. That's the point. Complaining about ticky-tack grammar issues on a blog is like complaining that the McDonald's Angus burger isn't up to Ruth's Chris standards.

Posted by: js_edit | February 16, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse



If Kilgore doesn't have anything to say, or if there's nothing going to talk about, do us all a favor, and leave out the long toss articles. I'm more than willing to wait until Kilgore has something to talk about.

Posted by: KenzAFan | February 16, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I like the long tosses. They are not a distraction to the other content, only additive. If these are not the droids you want, move along....

Posted by: whatsaNATaU | February 16, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The only real troll on this blog is Poopy. At least his rantings are baseball related, sort of. To those who have just ranted, I suggest you just avoid future Long Toss posts. You apparently will feel the better for it. Nyjer bounces back to his career average.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | February 16, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't want him to "bounce back" or "step up" so much as I want him to SLIDE FEET FIRST like he should.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | February 16, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

One thing that gives me hope about Nyjer is that he finally seems to be acknowledging that he didn't have a good year. Last season, whenever he was asked about any of his litany of problems, he denied that he was having any problems. As they say, the first step to recovery is recognizing that you have a problem.

Posted by: slewis1 | February 16, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I think Nyjer has come to realize that this is it for him. Its now or never. His life in the major leagues is at a crossroads and its time to answer the bell. I hope his head is on straignt and he comes thru for Riggles. If not, it could be curtains for one or both.

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 16, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

You mean bounce back to mediocrity? That's about Nyjer's level.

Posted by: JohnRDC | February 16, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Keep the Long Toss alive, just don't inhibit Mr. Kilgore from posting as he sees fit.
Of course Nyjer can come back. It's Spring. Hope springs eternal. Party like it's 2009!

Posted by: Donkeyfarmer | February 16, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

1. Nyjer needs for pitchers to be afraid to walk him. That requires pitch selection/plate discipline, which he dint show last year.
2. He needs to take lead-off & base-stealing lessons from someone like Maury Wills or Joe Morgan. He embarrassed himself getting picked off last year.
3. He seems like a smart person, but given #1 & #2 above, plus missing cut-off man, he looked like a DUMB player last year

Posted by: evanpt | February 16, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Nyger will bounce back because I believe he is closer to the player he was last year and not the player that we all saw when he first came here the year before.

Posted by: brothbart | February 16, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

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