Jun 29, 2010, 10:03 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Nyjer Morgan hasn't been nearly the same player this year that he was last year.
ATLANTA — Nyjer Morgan is hurting the Nationals more than he is helping them right now, there's no question about that. Whether it's his struggles to reach base (his OBP is .275 since May 16), his penchant for getting thrown out on the bases (11 caught stealings, seven pickoffs) or his poor decision-making in center field, Morgan is not helping the team or himself.
Two plays from last night's loss in particular drew the ire of Nats fans: the first-inning pickoff and the seventh-inning throw to the wrong base.
Though replays showed Morgan actually was safe on Tim Hudson's pickoff attempt, the fact remains he made yet another out on the basepaths. And even though he's actually improved his stolen base percentage — he was successful only eight of 16 times through May 15 but has been successful eight of 11 times since then — he still doesn't feel right on the bases.
Morgan believes one reason may be the transition he made from sliding headfirst to feet-first and back to headfirst again. The Nats told him to start going in feet-first this spring after he broke his hand last August. But Morgan clearly wasn't comfortable doing that, and it showed. His numbers have improved since he was told he could revert to his old form, but he still doesn't look like the Nyjer of old out there.
"I think getting off to that slow start and sliding with the feet first and everything kind of makes the caught stealings look worse than it is," Morgan said today. "I just had to make an adjustment there. And then yesterday, I thought I was safe [on the pickoff play], but he gotRead more »
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