Mar 5, 2010, 5:32 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Chris Duncan (right) has started at first base the last two days.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Chris Duncan is one of the more-interesting non-roster players in Nationals camp. He's got a track record of success at the big-league level, having twice bopped 20-plus homers for the Cardinals despite limited playing time (in 2006 and 2007). But he saw his production plummet the last two years, in part because of a herniated disc in his neck that required surgery.
Now 28, Duncan is in Nats camp, trying to make it as a bench player. He's played mostly left and right fields during his big-league career, but he actually came up as a first baseman, only to get moved to the outfield in St. Louis because of some guy named Pujols. The son of Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan started yesterday in Kissimmee at first base, and will be back there again today against the Braves.
Defense has never been Duncan's specialty, though he does feel more comfortable at first base. Then again, with Adam Dunn entrenched in the heart of the lineup, there aren't going to be many opportunities to start there.
Really, if Duncan makes the Opening Day roster, it will be because of his ability to hit.
"He gives the manager a little versatility, because he'd be a left-handed bat off the bench that can change the game with one swing of the bat," GM Mike Rizzo said. "That brings value in and ofRead more »
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