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Filling the Willingham void

Aug 20, 2010, 11:00 PM EDT

PHILADELPHIA — When making out his lineup card the majority of this season, Jim Riggleman never had to give thought to who he would pencil in as his left fielder or No. 5 hitter. Josh Willingham’s name might as well have been written in permanent ink.

But with Willingham now out for the season with a medial meniscus tear in his left knee, the Nationals manager is left trying to fill a significant void, both in the lineup and in the field.

There’s no one player on the Nats’ roster capable of taking over Willingham’s duties full-time, so Riggleman is forced to mix-and-match with a handful of others, hoping he can find a combination that helps offset the loss as much as possible.

“It’s going to be evolving as to how that works itself out,” Riggleman said before tonight’s series opener against the Phillies.

For the full story, including Roger Bernadina’s thoughts on playing left field for the first time in a long time, go to CSNwashington.com.

  1. Anonymous - Aug 20, 2010 at 11:48 PM

    Yah, Bernadina in tonight's 5 hole pulled a Pudge in the 1st inning.

  2. CapPeterson - Aug 21, 2010 at 12:04 AM

    I'd like to see these "scouting reports" that say LF is Rog's best position. You stick players in LF who can't run or throw. Rog does both. Meanwhile, we've got a CF who can't throw. The Pirates figured out that Nyjer's best position was LF (when he played). Wait a second–matbe Nyjer filed that report on Bernadina.

  3. Anonymous8 - Aug 21, 2010 at 1:08 AM

    CapPeterson, exactly. Nyjer should be in LF and Bernadina in CF.

  4. Section 222 - Aug 21, 2010 at 3:59 AM

    Ok, can I just say that this Bernadina in LF stuff makes NO SENSE. I have no idea what scouting reports might say, or what they even are. But he has hardly played LF so it can't be his natural position. Morgan the other hand, has played LF. Plus, I always thought that RF is a more difficult position to play than left, if only because of the need for a strong arm to prevent a runner from going from first to third. That's why they are making Harper a RFer, he's got a good arm. So does Bernadina. Nyjer doesn't. Morse? Not sure. If they really don't want to move Njyer, which seems like the obvious solution since he played LF in Pittsburgh, and played it well, then try Morse there. But Bernadina should play RF or CF, not LF.

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