Manny Acta : (From Washington Nationals Blogger Day Press Conference on 6/20/09)
The running starts at 12:10 pm EST Wednesday afternoon.
"Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo, after trading OF Lastings Milledge and former DC closer Joel Hanrahan to Pittsburgh for OF Nyjer Morgan and LHP Sean Burnett, told Washington Post writer Chico Harlan, as quoted in a Nationals Journal post today entitled, "Post-Trade Thoughts, Reaction, Analysis And Marginalia" that Nyjer Morgan was just what the Nationals' lineup needed:
"'He's a high-energy speed type of guy,' Rizzo said, 'Very plus-plus defensive capability. We see him as an everyday centerfielder for us hitting somewhere at the top of the lineup. It gives us the defensive centerfielder that we've been missing here. His attitude, make-up and high energy level are really party of his package as a player.'"
Joel Hanrahan was wound so tight at this point that it has to been seen as some sort of mercy that he was included in this deal and given a fresh start with the Pirates. The acquisition of Sean Burnett, the Pirates' 1st Round pick (19th overall in the 2000 Draft), who underwent Tommy John Surgery in 2005 and has made just 109 appearances overall with Pittsburgh in which he's gone (7-8) with a 4.54 ERA and 95 K's in 106.2 IP, is viewed by some, including Washington Post writer Thomas Boswell as a precursor to further movement which may include left-handed reliever Joe Beimel or LHP Ron Villone (or both) eventually being dealt.
So it really comes down to Nyjer Morgan vs Lastings Milledge...(cont. After The Jump)...
BTW: The Washington Nationals dropped their 8th straight game to the Florida Marlins tonight when the rain came just moments after the Marlins had rallied back from a 5-1 deficit to take a 7-5 lead.
Miss The Game?...It Hurt, But The DC Faithful Were Watching...
• Lastings Milledge vs Nyjer Morgan.
• Nationals vs Marlins 2009.
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump...
Washington Nationals now 22-53.
Apr 05, 1985
• Baseball-Reference.com 162 Game AVG - .261 AVG, .326 OBP, .400 SLG, 25 2B, 16 HR, 70 RBI's, 18 SB.
• Origin Story - NYM 1st Round pick, 12th overall in 2003.
Jul 02, 1980
Baseball-Reference.com 162 Game AVG - .286 AVG, .351 OBP, .376 SLG, 23 2B, 9 HR, 42 RBI's, 35 SB.
Origin Story - Pittsburgh Pirates' 33rd Round pick, 973rd overall in 2002.
• For The Stat-Heads, Check Out Fangraph.com's Dave Cameron's article entitled, "The Morgan-Milledge Deal", wherein Mr. Cameron compares Nyjer Morgan's "UZR numbers" to those of outfielders like, "Carlos Gomez, Franklin Gutierrez, Mike Cameron, Rajai Davis and Darrin Erstad", and writes that the Pirates' hopes for the deal are, "...tied to a belief in Lastings Milledge's improvement that I don't have", before concluding:
"Good trade for Mike Rizzo and the Nationals. For once, they actually acquired an outfielder with some usefulness."
• Dave From Nats New Network Offered His Opinion Immediately After The Trade Was Announced.
When Lastings Milledge was sent to Triple-A Syracuse after a few weeks of shaky play in the field and at bat, "Acting DC GM Mike Rizzo was quoted in an ESPN.com article entitled, "Batting .167, Milledge sent to minors", explaining that:
"'We've all seen the struggles that he's had adjusting to a new position in the batting order, being leadoff, and adjusting to being an everyday center fielder in the big leagues,' Rizzo said. 'That was the reason we sent him down -- to get more comfortable with his swing, to get more comfortable with the position and to do it in a less stressful situation than the National League East.'"
As the title of the article above notes, Milledge, 24, put up a.167 AVG in the 7 games he played for the Nationals before his demotion, going 4 for 24 with 1 RBI, 1 SB, 1 BB, 10 K's and a .231 OBP. In 22 games and 79 at bats with the Syracuse Chiefs, Milledge was hitting .253 with a .277 OBP, .316 SLG, 5 2B, 4 RBI's, 3 BB, 16 K's and 6 stolen bases before he broke the ring finger on his right hand while attempting a bunt...Nyjer Morgan, 28, who has already played more games this season with the Pirates than he did in either of his previous two stints with the club, has put up career-best numbers, collecting 6 doubles, 5 triples, 2 HR's, 27 RBI's, 29 BB and 18 SB, with a .277 AVG, .351 OBP and a .356 SLG. So what you have here are two players headed in opposite directions. Milledge, a former 1st Round pick, was handed the starting position in center with the Nationals and failed spectacularly, while Morgan, a 33rd round Pirates' pick, succeeded against all odds, earned the starting spot in the Pirates' '09 outfield and exceeded expectations.
?'s For The DC Faithful...
• Were You Done With Lastings Milledge?
• Will Nyjer Morgan Be The Center Fielder The Nationals Have Been Looking For For As Long As They've Existed?
• Are The Relief Pitchers A Wash?
• What Do You Think Of "Acting" DC GM Mike Rizzo's First Trade?
Nationals vs Marlins 2009.
• Game 4 - 4/17/09 - DC closer Joel Hanrahan blows 2-1 lead in 9th, Marlins win it in 10th. Fish win, 3-2 final.
• Game 5 - 4/18/09 - DC closer Joel Hanrahan blows 6-3 lead in 9th, Marlins win it in 11th. Fish win, 9-6 final.
• Game 7 - 6/29/09 - DC's Ron Villone/Julian Tavares give up a run each in the 8th of a tied game. Fish win, 4-2 final.
• Game 8 - 6/30/09 - COMPLETE GAME THREAD...
Washington Nationals at Florida Marlins. Game 75 of 76 of 162.
Cristian Guzman grounds out to Hanley Ramirez at short for the first out of the evening. Florida starter Sean West gets a ground ball from Nick Johnson to short for Ramirez to handle. Ryan Zimmerman hits a line drive single to left for the Nationals’ first hit of the game. Adam Dunn doubles to left and Ryan Zimmerman beats the throw in from Chris Coghlan in left field, 1-0 Nationals. Jeremy Hermida cruises over to catch Josh Willingham’s flyout to right....Chris Coghlan grounds weakly to second, Alberto Gonzalez makes a hard throw to first baseman Nick Johnson. Emilio Bonifacio takes a low fastball off the outside edge and singles to center with one down. Bonifacio’s running and safe at second. Hanley Ramirez grounds sharply to third, Zimmerman knocks it down and rushes the throw, sending it sailing by first, Bonifacio rounds third, Nick Johnson throws home, but too late. 1-1 ballgame. Hanley Ramirez steals second. Jorge Cantu pops out to Nick Johnson. Hanley Ramirez tries to steal third and Wil Nieves nails him. 1-1 after one.
Elijah Dukes hits a leadoff single to left to start the second. Alberto Gonzalez flies out unproductively to right. Wil Nieves chops a groundout to Bonifacio at third. Craig Stammen works a two-out walk off of West. Cristian Guzman grounds to short, Hanley Ramirez’s throw ends the Nationals’ second...Alberto Gonzalez throws to first on a grounder from Jeremy Hermida. Dan Uggla splits the gap in left center, Elijah Dukes hustles over and throws to second, Uggla’s out!!! SSSSUPER DUKESSSS!!! Cristian Guzman dives and stabs a liner to short from Cody Ross and fires to first to end the second.
Nick Johnson grounds weakly to Jorge Cantu at first. Ryan Zimmerman gets a two-strike bender and K’s swinging for the second out of the frame. Adam Dunn grounds to second, Uggla throws to first to end DC’s third...Craig Stammen gets a ground ball to third from John Baker. Sean West K's. Chris Coghlan flies out to Dukes to end a quick third.
Josh Willingham takes a leadoff walk from Sean West to start the fourth. Elijah Dukes singles up the middle, Hammer to second. Alberto Gonzalez flies out to Cody Ross in center. Chris Coghlan comes up throwing on a single through short by Wil Nieves. Bases loaded for Stammen. Craig Stammen rips a single to center!! Two runs score, 3-1 Nationals. Cristian Guzman grounds to third, Bonifacio to Uggla to Cantu, double play...Emilio Bonifacio flies out to Adam Dunn in left. Hanley Ramirez flies out to short right. Jorge Cantu throws his bat at a pitch in the dirt and singles by third for a two-out double. Jeremy Hermida grounds weakly to second, Alberto Gonzalez throws to first to end the fourth.
Nick Johnson K’s swinging at a high fastball. Ryan Zimmerman lines to left for a one-out double. Adam Dunn gets a fastball high and inside and he launches it to left and GONE!! HR!! Adam Dun--SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!! Two-run blast, 5-1 Nationals. West walks Willingham, and he’s done. Christopher Leroux will face Elijah Dukes. Dukes shatters another bat flying out to center. Alberto Gonzalez grounds out to third to end the Nationals’ fifth...Dan Uggla grounds out to Gonzalez at second. Stammen gets Cody Ross swinging at a 2-2 slider. John Baker grounds to second, Alberto Gonzalez’s throw ends the fitfth.
Wil Nieves gets jammed and rolls the first out of the sixth to second. Craig Stammen grounds out to Hanley Ramirez. Cristian Guzman K’s swinging at a fastball outside to end the top of the sixth...Alejandro De Aza gets a pinch hit single to start the Marlins’ sixth. Chris Coghlan singles to left. De Aza takes third on Bonifacio’s fly ball to center. Stammen gets a pitch by Nieves and De Aza scores on the WP. 5-2 DC. Hanley Ramirez goes deep to right and GONE!! Two-run HR, 5-4 DC. Stammen is out. Tyler Clippard gives up a double to the left center gap to Cantu. Clippard throws one over the catcher, Cantu takes third. Clippard drops a two-strike change on Hermida and gets a swinging K. Dan Uggla tries to check his swing but connects and sends a weak roller to third for Zimmerman, who fields on the run and throws to first, in time!
Nick Johnson vs Renyel Pinto to start the seventh. Johnson gets called out on a pitch that appears to be inside. Pinto gets Ryan Zimmerman goes down swinging. Adam Dunn K’s swinging way over a 79 mph change...Tyler Clippard issues a four-pitch walk to Cody Ross. John Baker gets a sac bunt down to move Ross to second. Joe Beimel on for Clippard. Ross Gload hits Ryan Zimmerman in the gut with a hard chopper, and Zimmerman pockets it. Two on, one out. Joe Beimel walks Chris Coghlan. Emilio Bonifacio up with the bases loaded. Two-strike fastball up high and a swinging K from Bonifacio. Hanley Ramirez singles through second, two runs score, 6-5 Marlins. Jorge Cantu rips a single through short, another run crosses, 7-5 Marlins. Jesus Colome on to face Brett Carroll....Cue The Rain...
Mariins win, 7-5 final.