Feb 1, 2011, 4:28 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Michael Morse will join Roger Bernadina and Rick Ankiel in left field in 2011.
The Nationals were willing to trade Josh Willingham earlier this winter not only because of what they got in return from the Oakland A's (reliever Henry Rodriguez and minor-league outfielder Corey Brown) but also because of what they believe they can still get out of their left fielders in 2011.
At first glance, it sounds a bit preposterous to suggest Roger Bernadina, Michael Morse and/or Rick Ankiel are going to produce as much at the plate as Willingham did. But truth is, that consortium probably will come close to, if not exceed, the production of its predecessor.
Actually, a more accurate way to put it is like this: The Nationals are likely to get comparable offensive production out of their left fielders this year as they did last year. That's because Willingham, while certainly productive when he was in the lineup, wasn't in the lineup the entire season.
Despite his remarkably consistent numbers over the years — a batting average in the .260s, 20-25 homers, an OBP in the .360s and an OPS in the .840s — Willingham has also been remarkably consistent in hisRead more »
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