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Taveras DFA’d, Morse activated

May 16, 2010, 3:17 AM EDT

DENVER — The Nationals designated outfielder Willy Taveras for assignment following tonight’s 4-3 loss to the Rockies and announced outfielder Mike Morse will be activated off the 15-day disabled list tomorrow.

Taveras’ time had been numbered for a while. He hit .200 (7-for-35) with four RBI in 27 games, coming almost exclusively off the bench. With Morse’s return from a calf strain anticipated, Taveras seemed the likely candidate to be removed from the roster.

Morse has been on the DL since the season’s first week with the calf strain. He hit .265 with three homers and eight RBI in 14 games on a rehab assignment with Class AAA Syracuse. Morse is expected to be available for tomorrow’s series finale at Coors Field.

No other moves tonight. Brian Bruney remains on the roster, but the right-hander certainly appears to be on thin ice at this point.

  1. Andrew - May 16, 2010 at 3:35 AM

    Mike will be an offensive boost and good 1st base defensive help as well as a trusty Pinch Hitter.Welcome back Mike!!!!!!!

  2. Souldrummer - May 16, 2010 at 3:36 AM

    Good move for the squad and not surprised this happened. Mark, do you think that Taveras is going to end up in Syracuse or is there a decent chance that someone else picks him up? How does that work in this situation?

  3. Mark Zuckerman - May 16, 2010 at 3:43 AM

    Souldrummer: Five things can happen now. 1) Another team claims Taveras off waivers (seems unlikely). 2) Nats trade him (also seems unlikely). 3) Nats outright him to Syracuse and he accepts. 4) Nats outright him to Syracuse and he refuses assignment. 5) Nats grant him his unconditional release.I could see the last scenario playing out. Not sure he has much desire to go to Syracuse, and I'm not sure he has much value for the organization there either.

  4. Andrew - May 16, 2010 at 3:54 AM

    Mark – If Taveras went to Syracuse, I see Tavares as good for one thing, and that is a September callup. He is a veteran that can pinch run and play defense and not much else so with an expanded roster, he is a good fill-in. Other than that, this made no sense in the first place. He had a good Spring which most of us thought would never carry over to the regular season. I thought from the start that Bernadina deserved to be on the Opening Day roster so I think now the position players is set unless Rizzo makes a trade down the road.

  5. Souldrummer - May 16, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    One of the extremely annoying things about MiLB.com is that there isn't an easy way to go through and see what games a player has played at different positions. You look at Syracuse's roster and you see that Mench and Maxwell and some guy Jerry Owens that I've never heard of and who has no at bats is listed on the roster. I know that Chase Lambin played outfield for at least one of Strasburg's starts and even Pete Orr has played some outfield. If Taveras was going to be an everyday outfielder for Syracuse he might take that, but in all likelihood it's bye-bye Taveras. Thanks for the info. In unrelated matters, there was a rumor on Natsfarmauthority that Leonard Davis had been booted from Harrisburg and sent all the way down to Vermont? That doesn't make a lick of sense and curious if anyone knows what's going on with Davis.

  6. Anonymous - May 16, 2010 at 4:46 AM

    Davis suposedly has been promoted to Syracuse according to my sources.

  7. Souldrummer - May 16, 2010 at 4:57 AM

    That would make much more sense as a move that complements the Morse callup. He had a .753 OPS for offensively challenged Harrisburg. Marrero has been godawful there so far this year and a real disappointment. But if you look on MiLB.com it says that Davis has been reassigned to Vermont. You wonder if this is some kind of procedural move while they are trying to figure out what to do with Taveras. If Taveras is not picked up by someone, they try to reassign him to AAA because there's an outside chance he could hit the big club. If Taveras isn't assigned to AAA, they bring Davis up to Syracuse. Davis, like Lowrance, is just organizational filler/utility guy at this point since he hasn't shown he can hit at AAA. You hope the guys at Hagerstown who are raking right now (Hood, Higley, Ramirez) we'll progress up the ranks and start to put more pressure on the too old guys. We had to call up Baez from Potomac to fill in Davis' roster spot. Sad, sad, sad. You hope that Burgess can continue to rake and earn a callup to Harrisburg at some point. I trust Rizzo to handle all this stuff well and not have to promote someone up to be sent back down. We probably were overly aggressive with guys like Davis in the past.

  8. Anonymous - May 16, 2010 at 5:34 AM

    I would think that they'll keep Bruney around until after Tuesday's game, then he'll be DFA'ed and they'll bring Chico up to pitch Wednesday night. Then on Thursday, most likely Chico will be optioned back down and they'll bring in a new right-handed reliever. Not Storen, someone else. Or maybe they'll keep Chico up if he pitches well and they'll move Stamman to the bullpen. We have two long relievers for now (Stamman and Batista), then when Storen comes up in June, he replaces Batista.

  9. Dave - May 16, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    I'm still trying to figure out why we would have to wait until June to see Storen in DC. I thought Rizzo wanted to give Drew a little "attaboy" for signing early? It's now May 16. June is two weeks away.

  10. Positively Half St. - May 16, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    I am content to see Tavares go in favor of Morse. I was more than skeptical when the Nats signed him, but in the end he did as much as Bernadina has to this point, which is essentially winning a single game for the team all by himself. Of course, Tavares is now free to fade into the sunset, while I hope Bernadina has a career ahead of him.I have to keep in mind that the Nats only gave up a Rule 5 pick for Bruney, and that they guy drafted with that pick didn't stick. Nothing ventured nothing gained, I guess, but the emphasis here is on nothing gained. Someone wrote about DFA'ing him in time for Chico to pitch Wednesday. I guess I had better look at previous posts to see why Lannan can't take the next start for himself, other than because he was awful.

  11. BinM - May 16, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    +1/2St. – The call-up is because of yesterday's doubleheader. If the team doesn't call up a spot starter, then Livo would work on short rest after a 100-pitch game.

  12. Anonymous - May 16, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    Souldrummer the stats on baseball america for individual players give you what you are looking for fielding-wise. Do a search for minor league and the player's name with your favorite search engine and their stats page invariably pops up.Right now the outfield in Syracuse is pretty much Duncan, Mench and Maxwell although they do move players around. I think Jerry Owens is still on the DL. With Morse gone and Bynum suspended I think you will see Bruntlett, Lambin, and Orr mostly in the infield. You will see Duncan at first base plus there's Pedro Lopez.Half-Street as BinM suggested Ladson has tweeted that Hernandez will pitch Wednesday. Otherwise I suspect they would have gone with Martin and not Matt Chico. Chico is definitely NOT coming up.

  13. greg - May 16, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    another good site for finding those kind of detailed stats, including minor leagues, is http://www.thebaseballcube.com.

  14. greg - May 16, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    btw, jerry owens played a bit for the white sox, IIRC. good defender w/speed, not much bat. sound familiar? seems like we're cornering the market on guys with speed and defense in the OF who can't hit.

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