Jun 22, 2010, 3:58 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Michael Morse's hot bat hasn't landed him an everyday job yet.
There may be no tougher challenge in sports than assembling a 25-man baseball roster and then choosing the nine men who will fill out a lineup card on any given day.
Not a day goes by in which a general manager doesn't evaluate his roster and wonder whether any changes might produce better results. And not a day goes by in which a manager doesn't scribble out lineups, either on napkins or in his head, trying to find the perfect combination that leads to success.
So understand that when the Nationals make changes — and often when they don't make changes — they aren't flying by the seat of their pants. They're agonizing over every possible move, debating them among the coaching staff and front office, trying to decide what decisions will best help the team both today and over the long haul.
Today, the Nats decided John Lannan needed to be removed from the big-league roster, a major change that was not made lightly but rather after some serious contemplation and hand-wringing.
They also decided not to fundamentally alter their daily lineup. Yes, Michael Morse is tearing the cover off the ball when given the opportunity to play. But, in Jim Riggleman's mind, that's not enough to send Roger Bernadina or Nyjer Morgan to the bench.
Both decisions could have lasting impacts on the club's fortunes. Both could be reversed sometime down the road. But today, these decisions make the most sense to the Nationals.
Let's start with Lannan, whose demotion to Harrisburg was probably several weeks in the works but still caught plenty by surprise when it was announced this afternoon. It's not often that a team sends its Opening Day starter of the last two seasons packing to Class AA, butRead more »
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