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Nats prepare for Nyjer’s suspension

Sep 8, 2010, 5:31 PM EDT

Nyjer Morgan’s hearing in appeal of a pair of suspensions totaling 15 games will take place Friday morning, and the Nationals center fielder is hoping to have a good number of games lopped off.

Still, the Nats fully expect Morgan to have to sit out some amount of games, leaving manager Jim Riggleman searching for replacements both in center field and atop his lineup.

Roger Bernadina figures to take over in center field, as he did when Morgan was on the disabled list with a minor hip injury last month. That would open up left field for some combination of Willie Harris, Justin Maxwell and Kevin Mench.

The leadoff spot, however, is more up in the air. Riggleman has tried both Bernadina and Adam Kennedy there at times when Morgan was injured or benched, though neither has been wildly successful in that role.

So the Nationals may give rookie second baseman Danny Espinosa a shot, hoping to take advantage of his impressive speed/power combination.

Read the full story on CSNwashington.com.

  1. JaneB - Sep 8, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    from the full story:"Riggleman, though, believes last week's beanball war and brawl are a thing of the past and won't be dredged up again when the two teams meet at Nationals Park."Yeah, definitely," the manager said. "I think so."That's a funny kind of "definitely" isn't it?As a Nyjer fan, I realize that the suspension period will be a real trial of the team without him. I'm not turning in my tee shirt, which I got specially made last July…but I am wrapping my head around no Nyjer. Man, do I hope Danny is as for real as we all hope he is!

  2. Steve M. - Sep 8, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    Nats prepare, and the fanbase celebrates! is the headline until we get a dose of Justin Maxwell, then we may be begging for Nyjer to come back! Outside of Bernadina and Morse, this current roster without Willingham is bad.

  3. Bowdenball - Sep 8, 2010 at 6:54 PM

    Where can Riggleman possibly find a replacement for a guy hitting .256/.316/.317? Other than virtually any player at any level of the Nationals organization, including some of the pitchers if they have a decent couple weeks.

  4. Stew Magnuson - Sep 8, 2010 at 7:16 PM

    There doesn't seem to be a lot of organizational depth or prospects in the pipeline for outfielders outside of Harper. A result of drafting so many pitchers? I wonder.Meanwhile, no one has mentioned in this blog the Harrisburg Senators making the AA playoffs.Congrats to them. Let's bring that winning attitude up to the Bigs!

  5. Tcostant - Sep 8, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    I saw this on SI.com in the Daily Scope "Various outlets in Japan have been reporting different teams scouting pitching phenom Yu Darvish, who's said to be an even better prospect than Daisuke Matsuzaka was, reports Mike Silva of NYBD. The Yankees, Mets, Rangers and Rays are among many who have taken a peek."I saw this guy pitch in the World Baseball Classic in March 2009 in San Diego, I was at all six games. The guy is a #1 starter in the bigs – easy! Yu was the best pitcher I saw there and that includes bonus baby Aroldis Chapman who I saw there too.If the Nats can get this guy, they should do it. He is very young (around 24) and is big league ready now. Go get him Nationals. Please!!!

  6. Anonymous - Sep 8, 2010 at 8:46 PM

    Stew – Outside of Bryce Harper and Michael Burgess, it is very lean.That is why Nyjer Morgan is starting because your backups are guys hitting .192 and under in Willie Harris and Justin Maxwell.When the Mets needed a pinch hitter today they had Nick Evans with a .222 who came through with a lucky hit.Very frustrating as the bench really has been the weak link on this team.

  7. rogieshan - Sep 8, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Stew, there are several decent outfield prospects in the system. In Hagerstown alone: Eury Perez, .299 BA, 64 SBs. J.P. Ramirez, .296 BA, 17 HRs, 75 RBIs, and Destin Hood, .285 BA, 30 2Bs, 65 RBIs. And let's not forget Michael Burgess in A/AA: .265 BA, 18 HRs, 85 RBIs. All four are 21 or younger.

  8. Doc - Sep 8, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    Replacing Morgan at leadoff shouldn't be as hard as Riggleman seems to let on. As Bowdenball has noted, Morgan has had a ways to go this season to being an effective leadoff hitter–not even counting the pickoffs!

  9. Feel Wood - Sep 8, 2010 at 9:36 PM

    Riggleman seems to think that Morgan's seven game suspension for the Philly fan incident could be eliminated entirely. I'd say that's doubtful, since the other infraction he's been suspended for also involves engaging with fans. Why would they eliminate the first suspension when he committed the same offense again even before the first suspension was appealed?

  10. N. Cognito - Sep 8, 2010 at 11:19 PM

    Feel Wood said… "Riggleman seems to think that Morgan's seven game suspension for the Philly fan incident could be eliminated entirely. I'd say that's doubtful, since the other infraction he's been suspended for also involves engaging with fans. Why would they eliminate the first suspension when he committed the same offense again even before the first suspension was appealed?"Because the first suspension was for throwing the ball into the stands and hitting someone, not for getting into a verbal confrontation with Philly fans.There is doubt about what type of throw Nyjer made. A toss to the fans as a means of giving them a souvenir, or as an attempt to hit someone. I for one, would believe an habitual liar before I would believe Phillies fans siting in the bleachers.

  11. Anonymous8 - Sep 8, 2010 at 11:43 PM

    The problem I see with Nyjer's thick brain as he shows no remorse.

  12. Feel Wood - Sep 8, 2010 at 11:56 PM

    I dunno, N. Cognito. If I'm on the hook for one driving violation (say, speeding) and before that one goes to court I get another one (say, reckless driving) I'd be hard pressed to think the judge would go easy on me for the first one when I already have another one staring me in the face. Nyjer throwing the ball into the stands is one case of bad fan interaction, and what he did in Miami is another case of bad fan interaction, albeit of a different sort. Nyjer can hardly argue that he has nothing but goodwill towards opposing fans, can he?

  13. Richard - Sep 9, 2010 at 12:32 AM

    Has anyone heard what evidence the MLB has against Nyjer in the Philly incident to justify a 7-game suspension? We've read in the Post where a Philly fan who was in the stands that day says Nyjer didn't throw at the fan. The fan who was hit happened to be looking away when Morgan flipped the ball into the stands the way all players do; and he said Morgan was talking in a more or less friendly way with the fans before the toss. I haven't seen anything re who accused Nyjer of throwing AT a fan with the intent to hurt him. Why the silence? I wonder, too, if the Nats are assisting Morgan with his defense.Re the Marlins incident, I also wonder if Volstad's 6-game suspension means he'll only one missed start. I guess so and, if so, that's unfair since he ignited the whole thing.

  14. Anonymous - Sep 9, 2010 at 1:14 AM

    >>>…leaving manager Jim Riggleman searching for replacements both in center field and atop his lineup.<<<Are you kidding us, Mark? There are so many players on this roster who can do what he does offensively (which is very little) and won't do all the terrible things he does (which are many).This is a moment of celebration!

  15. N. Cognito - Sep 9, 2010 at 3:37 AM

    Feel Wood said… "I dunno, N. Cognito. If I'm on the hook for one driving violation (say, speeding) and before that one goes to court I get another one (say, reckless driving) I'd be hard pressed to think the judge would go easy on me for the first one when I already have another one staring me in the face."What if you could prove that the radar gun used in the speeding citation was not working properly? That's a better analogy of what Riggleman thinks could happen.

  16. Sunderland - Sep 9, 2010 at 7:00 AM

    Obviously MLB feels they have strong evidence of mis-behavior in Philly, or they would have not levied 7 games.Richard, your perspective may be that Volstad started the whole thing. That's certainly not the prevailing opinion. The other two guys Volstad hit during the game have nothing to do with anything, Nyjer would have gone after Volstad regardless. And Volstad very purposefully did NOT throw at Nyjer the 2nd time, he threw well and safely behind him. Was he sending a message, yes, but trying to hit him? Absolutely not.

  17. Richard - Sep 9, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    I didn't say he "started it", I said he ignited it, because you can argue that Njyer started it by running into the catcher the night before, but running into the catcher is done almost every night somewhere. I said "ignite" because Volstad could have gone on with the game without trying to teach Njyer another lesson. And throwing behind the batter is a classic igniter. Most people see it as intentionally throwing at a batter.

  18. N. Cognito - Sep 9, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    Sunderland said… "And Volstad very purposefully did NOT throw at Nyjer the 2nd time, he threw well and safely behind him. Was he sending a message, yes, but trying to hit him? Absolutely not." Patently absurd. A pitch behind a player is not in any way safe.

  19. BQ - Sep 9, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    I wanted Nationals to go after Yu and Chapman last off season. Just imagine having those two with a healthy SS and Zmann. I would love see a japanese position player or pitcher on Nats roster but I doubt that will ever happen. I don't think management is interested in going East at all.

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