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Are the Nationals getting fed up with Nyjer Morgan?

Mar 16, 2011, 2:20 PM EDT

Nyjer Morgan

We’ve been rough on Nyjer Morgan here at HBT, criticizing the Nationals outfielder for various on-field altercations, horrendous base-stealing, and his overall ineptitude last season.

I’m sure annoying bloggers isn’t a particularly big concern for Morgan, but now Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals may be getting sick of him too.

According to Kilgore the Nationals may go with Rick Ankiel as their starting center fielder, using Roger Bernadina as his backup, and option Morgan to Triple-A, where he hasn’t played since mid-2008.

Kilgore calls that “only speculation” and it would certainly be a bold move, because whatever you think of Morgan’s value at this point Ankiel is hardly a good everyday option in center field offensively or defensively. He’s hit just .232 with a .686 OPS during the past two seasons and Ultimate Zone Rating pegs him as 8.7 runs below average per 150 games in center field.

In other words, if the Nationals are even giving serious thought to starting Ankiel in center field they must really be disillusioned with Morgan. Quite a fall for a guy who hit .351 in 49 games after coming over in a midseason deal two years ago.

  1. Utley's Hair - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    I know I am. What an egomaniacal punk.

    • cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:27 PM

      Plus we get to see more of Roger Bernadina and his stupendous guns. Always a plus.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 16, 2011 at 4:24 PM

        Roger Bernardina…second cousin to Larry Bernandez from the Mariners?

      • cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 4:31 PM

        Could be. Both are scrappy guys. Great ballplayers. Real gamers. Especially Roger.

  2. hasbeen5 - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    I’m only going off of a couple games against the Braves last year, and I’m too lazy to look up numbers right now, but Bernardina looked pretty good. Where is he in their plans? Maybe not this year, but surely with some more experience he’d have more value than Morgan or Ankiel.

    • paul621 - Mar 16, 2011 at 10:25 PM

      I agree, I’d be surprised to see Ankiel in there over Bernadina. At the very least, you’d think the Nats would want to see if Bernadina is the long-term answer, while they probably know Ankiel isn’t. I think the only way Ankiel gets a starting gig out of spring training is if Morse or Bernadina collapse AND Morgan loses his job. Morse, Bernadina, and Werth could be a pretty respectable outfield.

  3. xmatt0926x - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    The whole of baseball is getting sick of Morgan. The crazy part is that his talent doesn’t come close to the publicity he’s received in the last 2 years. This guy is like Chad Johnson except that at least Chad Johnson had a few great years for the bengals beore becoming famous for everything except the quality of play on the field.

  4. paul621 - Mar 16, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    The weird thing about Morgan is that in 2009 he seemed like a genuinely funny, good guy. The Morgan of 2010 wasn’t the same person off the field, let alone on it. I know a number of people were actually concerned about his health/personal life because the change was so drastic. Personally, I’m pulling for him to turn it around again.

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