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Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 03/ 9/2011

Long toss: Nyjer Morgan's progress

By Washington Post editors

Dave Sheinin's blog post about Nyjer Morgan's adventures on the base paths yesterday (and the story in Tuesday's newspaper) stirred up more debate about Morgan's status with the team.

Commenter swhite21 is taking a patient approach:

As for Nyjer, let's give Riggleman the benefit of knowing what ST is all about and trying to field the best possible team for a 162-game season. After last year, I am no longer a Morgan fan, but now is exactly the time to take his measure. That's what coaching/managing is all about. Plus, it keeps Bernadina and Morse going all out. So what, exactly, is the downside at this point? Remember Milledge's short leash? There will be plenty o' time to complain down the road. If you can't experiment in ST, when can you?

What do you think? Did yesterday's game offer encouragement? Or have you run out of patience?

By Washington Post editors  | March 9, 2011; 11:50 AM ET
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It's March 9. I'm not in a hurry on this. Let them all play for now. But, three weeks from now, if Morgan is hitting the same as he is now, he better not go north on the 25 man. In my mind, his leash should be fairly short because his big league track record is fairly short. Especially because we have other players who would probably be better and we have a chance to be an improved team this year. No more big league experiments. Experiment in Syracuse, be patient in Syracuse, not DC.

Posted by: Avar | March 9, 2011 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Meant to include base running w/ hitting. So, if he is still causing as many outs as he is now....send him to Syracuse.

Posted by: Avar | March 9, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

To all the Kool-Aid'rs out there answer this question.

If the Nats brought in Rickey Henderson to teach Base Running 101, and the made them watch hours upon hours of tape, breaking down Ty Cobb and his mastery of bunting; who would fair better Morgan or Bernie?

The answer would be Bernie.
The reason why it is not Nyjer is because he is the Garrett Mock of the fielders. He has million dollar legs and a ten cent head.

Oh, and answer me this also what happend to all that new found focus BS that he was spouting on and on about? If he does make it out of ST as the starting CF his at-bat song sould be "Been Caught Stealing" by Jane's Addiction.

Posted by: hansenjo | March 9, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Encouraged, yes...sold, no. It's going to take more than a practice ST game to seal the deal on Nyjer. So far I favor Bernadina but I'm not ready to close the book on Nyjer just yet. Theres another 3 weeks to watch, no hurry yet.

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 9, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

And ... Bernadina is again in the lineup in center field. Morgan's last appearance was as a DH ... to help him focus better at the plate ...
If this isn't a sign that he is about to get thrown off Giggleman's Isle? One wonders if he can even make a utility outfielder on this team given the competition. BUT, his speed and fielding prowess (when he is focused) make him a viable probability for that.

But starting? I think its a foregone conclusion that Morse, Bernadina and Werth are the outfield. I also wonder if Ankiel makes this team with Nix and Frazier doing as well as they have? Its a choice between Ankiel or Morgan as the backup utility guy if Bernadina gets the starting nod in center?

Posted by: periculum | March 9, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

First, remember it's early March. Second, remember not to believe the words of Riggleman and Rizzo, believe their actions. Third, put aside the baserunning stuff, the deciding factor will be getting on base. If Morgan doesn't look like he'll get his OBP back to near that 2009 level, he'll open the door for Bernadina. If Bernadina wants to take the job, he's got to show improved OBP.

Since the Nationals are pushing Bernadina to bunt at least once every game this spring, that leads me to believe they want him to be the leadoff man and CF'er over Morgan. But we'll see.

Posted by: baltova1 | March 9, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

While it's nice that Morgan got more involved yesterday, it's still just one game. He could even bat .400 the rest of the Spring, he's still going to have no slugging power, coupled with what has to be the weakest arm of any CF in the Majors. Throw-in the fact that he's 'Wall-Shy', he'll pull-up and play a ball off the wall that should have been caught rather than risk hitting the wall, and that he's shown repeatedly that he doesn't know/can't absorb the basic fundamentals of the game, and you've got a very flawed ballplayer taking-up space on the roster.

Posted by: dabagley | March 9, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Morgan's problem is once he gets on base is staying on base. Officially since he walked twice his OBP is .231 but he got stealing on a close play so technically he took himself off of the base and hence is Nyjer's problem carrying his low OBP is getting on base and staying on base so he can score.

Correct me if I am wrong, I think Nyjer has no Runs Scored in ST so far. That is the #1 stat for me in regards to my leadoff man when you have big RBI guys in the 3rd and 4th spots in the lineup.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | March 9, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm so over Nyjer Morgan's play, I rather have almost anyone play CF than him.

Posted by: tcostant | March 9, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

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