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Morgan on DL, Mench coming up

Aug 6, 2010, 3:47 AM EST

Updated at 1:47 a.m.

PHOENIX — The Nationals have placed Nyjer Morgan on the 15-day disabled list with right hip inflammation despite the outfielder's insistence he can continue to play and intend to purchase the contract of veteran outfielder Kevin Mench to take his roster spot.

Morgan, who was out of the Nats' lineup for the second straight game, underwent an MRI yesterday after complaining of a "sharp pain" in the hip while doing routine physical activities like jogging. The MRI revealed only inflammation, according to the club's training staff, but the team elected to place him on the DL (retroactive to yesterday) anyways.

"It [freaking] sucks," Morgan said. "I feel fine. But, whatever."

With Morgan sidelined at least two weeks, manager Jim Riggleman said he's likely to use Roger Bernadina in center field and Michael Morse in right field the majority of the time.

The Nationals didn't announce any corresponding move after the game, but they did announce right-hander J.D. Martin (lower back) has been transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL, essentially ending his season. The significance of that transaction is that it paves the way for the Nats to promote someone who is not currentlyRead more ยป

  1. David Lint - Aug 6, 2010 at 3:53 AM

    What will it take to get Wil Nieves off the roster?Seriously, I don't get it.

  2. Josh - Aug 6, 2010 at 4:07 AM

    Like I said in an earlier post, Nieves is a career -1.1 WAR player… even if Ramos were an average AAA catcher, he would still be an improvement over Nieves.

  3. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 6, 2010 at 4:35 AM

    Wilson. Ramos. Now.

  4. Souldrummer - Aug 6, 2010 at 5:05 AM

    I don't think it will be Ramos, and I actually hope it won't be Ramos. To me, Ramos should not be on the big league roster until they are prepared to give him at least 50% of the starts. He needs to work on his plate discipline and he needs at bats to do that. I continue to believe that we are an organization that is conservative with prospects and should avoid promoting guys based on short term big league needs unless there aren't viable alternatives.I'd almost rather see one of the Syracuse organization depth kind of guys get a pinch running defensive sub kind of role to sit on the bench. Take your pick of who it is.

  5. David Lint - Aug 6, 2010 at 7:19 AM

    Kevin Mench and his .669 OPS getting the call-up?Whiting, Wilkie or Lambin should have gotten the call just because they deserve a shot with nothing on the line.I guess there's no point as Riggleman doesn't play young players, as is.

  6. raymitten - Aug 6, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    The underlying story which is pretty blatently implied here is that Morgan is annoyed he went on the DL. Why would the team do this? Either A) Morgan is more injured than he will admit or B) they wanted him off the roster to look at Bernie/Morse combo in the outfield. I wonder if Morgan was placed on waivers….

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Aug 6, 2010 at 12:20 PM

    You can bet he was placed on waivers. And they needed some sort of excuse to get past that "he has to start because he dosen't do us any good coming off the bench" crap.Whatever it takes because he's been picked of 10 FRIGGIN TIMES!!! Has to be some sort of record.

  8. Anonymous8 - Aug 6, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    With Morgan sidelined at least two weeks, manager Jim Riggleman said he's likely to use Roger Bernadina in center field and Michael Morse in right field the majority of the time.This is the combo for the future the Nats need to see. If Morse proves to be an everyday RF, this solves a gaping hole for the Nationals. If I were Nyjer I would be [FREAKED] too because if Bernadina proves to be a good lead off hitter then Nyjer's career in DC is in question. Bernadina is a better defensive player so it is really his effectiveness at the leadoff.

  9. Brian G. - Aug 6, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    Mark: If a player is on the DL, can he be placed on waivers? Likewise, once he's claimed, can he go on the DL? Wondering what the rules are here…BG

  10. natsfan1a - Aug 6, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Feel better, Nyjer.Guess that now we'll find out whether Morse is the RF of the future. (Convince me, big guy.)Speaking of big, hope they have a hat that will fit Mench's noggin.

  11. Anonymous - Aug 6, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    Congrats to Kevin, I am sure his family will be down at Nats Park next week from Delaware

  12. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 6, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    This Mench move makes no sense, unless we're dying to win 68 games instead of 67. The 32-year-old outfielder was hitting .246 with three homers and 40 RBI in 86 games at SYR.I think we know what we have here. What we don't know what we have is whether a) Ramos can be an everyday catcher in 2011, b) Morse can hit over the course of a 162-game season and c) whether Bernie can take over for Nyjer "He's Studies the Pitch-ah" before getting picked off Morgan in center field.Calling up Ramos instead of this career journeyman Mench might have answered that.But as Morgan said, "Whatever."

  13. Anonymous - Aug 6, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    This Mench move makes no sense, unless we're dying to win 68 games instead of 67. The 32-year-old outfielder was hitting .246 with three homers and 40 RBI in 86 games at SYR.This is like getting poor fielding right-handed Willie Harris for the bench. But these are the kind guys Riggleman likes. Older veterans. Much older veterans … do we see a trend ??

  14. Anonymous - Aug 6, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    At this point one feels like those Seattle fans who kept hoping and wishing Jim Riggleman would retire. Please retire Jim. Thank you.

  15. Anonymous - Aug 6, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    In other news … Espinosa has been promoted to Syracuse to be their everyday shortstop.

  16. Anonymous - Aug 6, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    You won't find out about Ramos until next spring when he has a chance to work with the pitchers throughout the camp; I think he may as well work on his hitting in Syracuse. I think that it's almost a given that Ramos is our no. 1 catcher for 2011 where he will catch about 60% of the games. I think that you will see Morse in there every day for the next 2 weeks and I would find a way to keep him in there every day for the rest of the year so he gets 200 more at bats and really give us a clue if he is the man in right field. I don't know if management is willing to give up on Morgan (I am) for next year; I would try real hard to have Bernadina in there for the rest of the year (leadoff and center).

  17. Feel Wood - Aug 6, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    "Calling up Ramos instead of this career journeyman Mench might have answered that."If they call up Ramos now they will either have to carry three catchers or DFA Nieves. Neither option makes sense. If they carry three catchers either Ramos doesn't get enough playing time or Nieves is sitting on the bench as a waste of a roster spot. If they DFA Nieves then they're screwed if either Pudge or Ramos gets hurt because the system is so thin on catchers.On Sept 1 though this is no longer a problem because rosters expand to 40. Ramos can be called up and play half time with Pudge, and Nieves can sit on the bench as insurance. Until then, Ramos gets the advantage of full-time playing in Syracuse.

  18. Anonymous - Aug 6, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    I was thinking: if they batted Morgan second, he wouldn't get picked off so many time because second base wouldn't be OPEN.

  19. Anonymous - Aug 6, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    Pretty much every one at Syracuse is a Journeyman including Lambin (age 31) and Whiting (Age 27) (with the exception of Ramos). The other prospects who are relatively close to the majors are: Espinosa (just promoted to Syracuse) and Marrero (still in AA).

  20. Joe - Aug 6, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    I'll be rooting for Kevin Mench, because this team needs some power from the bench. But given the stated needs of the Nats – bat off the bench, rather than a catcher or backup fielder – why not call up Jason Botts? A switch hitter with pop would be useful on the bench. He's a journeyman too, but one who, because he can swing the bat from both sides of the plate, has a chance to be a major league contributor off the bench next year in a role where there isn't an obvious candidate on the 40-man roster.

  21. Anonymous - Aug 6, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    "I guess there's no point as Riggleman doesn't play young players, as is." I'm not a Riggleman fan, but is this really a problem? What young player has he refused to play? (And, no points awarded for the answer "Justin Maxwell.")

  22. Mac G - Aug 6, 2010 at 9:58 PM

    Fans have been advocating for Bernie/Morse OF for like 2 months. Of course, Riggs thinks he is some genius now. It is mind numbing.

  23. Golfersal - Aug 7, 2010 at 2:31 AM

    Tell me this, why call up a 32 year old journeyman that is batting 249 at Syracuse? He will get very little time, just like Justin Maxwell and Morse, so why waste everyone's time with this loser.Call up someone like Ramos now, let's see how this kid can bat and try to get Nieves off the roster now, not on October 2nd. Yes he has helped the team the last two years but frankly Nieves isn't the future and will not be with the Nats next year, keep him around while Ramos proves himself. Oh for those that say that the Nats don't need three catchers, Ramos can be put in batting situations now, we have enough outfielders. I wonder some times what the Nats thinking really is

  24. Golfersal - Aug 7, 2010 at 2:39 AM

    One other thing, last year when Nyjer got hurt he put the Nats in a terrible tailspin. But I really think that Nyjer is nothing more than one big hotdog and that frankly mangement wants to see how the team will do without Nyjer.The same is happening in L.A. with Manny Rameriz, Dodgers and the fans have lost favor in Manny and he isn't missed. The same could happen with Nyjer, Roger and Morse are pretty solid and be overall better than Morgan. Anybody else feel the same?????

  25. Anonymous - Aug 7, 2010 at 3:08 AM

    Mench is added because when he is dfa, no one cares is he is picked up.

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