The bad news first: Nyjer Morgan broke his hand sliding into third last night, and is out for the season. Now, the good news: the Nationals weren't in the playoff race anyway, the season is close to finishing, Morgan's injury almost certainly seals the deal on the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, the Nationals have called up Pete Orr to give him a shot, Willie Harris will get to play every day, and full recovery is generally expected from broken bones. Also good is the fact that the Nats won a series against the Cubs, in Chicago, and Riggleman's team lost his first four games at home against the very same Cubbies.
Don't get me wrong, I'd still much rather have Mr. Plush in center field. Since Nyjer Morgan's arrival from Pittsburgh, the Nationals have been an entirely different team. He plays with such energy and has such a great personality, that his contributions go beyond his play on the field (which is also fantastic; he had a .351 average and stole 24 bases with the Nationals). Thankfully, a broken hand doesn't mean he can't still hang out in the clubhouse, pump his teammates up and offer advice, so he'll still be a factor. If I've learned anything from watching the Nationals, it's that you have to stay positive, so that's what I'm trying to do.
Recently signed pitcher Livan Hernandez wants to stay with the Nationals next season. He's only made one start, so it's too early to pass judgment, but he's got a lot going for him: he's a veteran who can act as a mentor to a young rotation, he's a decent pitcher himself and, most importantly, he wants to be here. I'm not sure that the Nationals are going to be able to find that in anyone else this offseason.
First-round pick Drew Storen gave a good interview to Tracee Hamilton. It's rather short, but some of Storen's personality comes through, and he seems to be a good guy. Much has been said about his work ethic, but I'll say it again -- he signed almost immediately, and for less money than he could have made. Storen is excited about playing baseball, and I am equally excited to see him do it.
Alexi Cassila, second baseman for the Twins, either made a ridiculous play or got really lucky. I'm willing to bet it was the former.