Results tagged ‘ Nyjer Morgan ’

Capture the Caption

Capture the Caption: A picture is worth a 1,000 words but a caption is worth only 20. We want to hear your best caption for a few of the pictures we captured on Tuesday night. Send your captions to natstown@nationals.com or write them in the comments sections. If we like your caption… We will even send you a NatsTown T-shirt.


Spider man.jpgWhere is Spider-man and what is he doing using a cell phone?


Apolo Ohno.jpgThe most decorated winter Olympian stopped by Nationals Park to deliver the lineup card. Apolo Ohno relaxes by yawning, always puts his left skate on first and compared speed skating to riding a motorcycle around at hockey rink at 40 mph. He is kind of a big deal and that’s why everyone wanted a photo with him.


Morgan Speed skating 2.jpgNyjer Morgan, a former hockey player, just wanted to learn how to speed skate. A little practice in the outfield has him thinking the Olympics in 2014.


Morgan Speed skating 3.jpgSochi, Russia… here I come.


three kids.jpgThree peas in a pod.


Riggleman and the Ump.jpgRiggleman vs. Ump

Spring Training is the place to be…


Strasburg 12.jpgAs we arrived at Space Coast Stadium with the sun shining, the temps in the mid 60’s and signs of baseball all around: green grass, fans decked out in Nats gear and players making the voyage from the fields to the clubhouse. It dawned on me right as we pulled in the parking lot that…

Spring is by far the best season in the world just like water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen–simple common facts, right? Of course, it never occurs to you while you are drinking a glass of water that it is two parts hydrogen or one part oxygen. But after you take a year of chemistry, you don’t even care anymore what it is… you just accept it as a fact and vow never to take another chemistry class again. It’s the same thing for spring, when you are at the Nats Spring Training Complex you are amazed at how peaceful and easy going it is… it is at that moment you accept it as fact that spring is the best season and vow to make the migration to Florida each year.

It is a new beginning for everyone and everything. It provides a new start for the players, a rebirth for all living plants and a second chance for people who already forgot what their New Year’s resolution was. 

Let me get a little more cliché and sentimental… as W. Earl Hall said… I know I just name-dropped him like he is Ryan Zimmerman but truth be told Google doesn’t even know who he is, they just know he said this… “Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day.” Morphine? Nope. THC? Not a chance. Nicotine? Never. Vicodin? Vastly overrated.

We could add to that… while watching a baseball game speculating and daydreaming about the upcoming season. The start of Spring Training has an innate ability to make fans, and players alike, daydream of how their season will turnout and reason why they have what it takes to win the World Series. The records are wiped clean, the potential is endless and every team is in first place till April 5. Cliché comments become cool and the term “Making the trip North” typically reserved for Minnesotans going to their cabins becomes a common catchphrase.

Science has also never explained the tranquilizing effect of the start of Spring Training and the endless possibilities: all the what ifs, maybes, dreams and if only’s.

You have all heard them before and probably made the arguments yourself.

They added A, B and C in the offseason and bolstered the bullpen with D. What if E has a breakout year now that he is healthy? If only player F, has the season he had two years ago. If player G, pitches like he did in September for the entire season and now that player H will be on the team for a full season…We are a playoff team for sure.

It is just simple math: A+B+C+D+E+F+G+H=playoffs. Right?

All you need is a carefully crafted argument, selective statistics and a few leaps in logic that hopefully go undetected. 82 percent on the time you will win every time–push at worst–and by the time the actual records are final, the argument will have been forgotten just like the Spring Training games themselves–just don’t write down your predictions.


Space Coast Stadium 10.jpgSo let the argument begin why the Nationals will finish at or above .500… forget the fact that only seven teams since 1961 (the year the schedule was expanded to 162 games) that have won 60 games or fewer in one season have gone on to finish at or above .500 the following season. (I am excluding strike years.) Here are seven reasons why they will be the eighth.

1.      It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. The Nats ended on a seven game winning streak and posted a 33-37 record after July 21st. They are better defensively and if they would have kept that pace over the season they would have finished 76-86. They are a better team now then when the season ended too.

2.      Maybe, just maybe John Lannan is the best pitcher nobody has heard of… just look at the numbers against a pitcher everybody has heard of.

 ALCS MVP CC Sabathia vs. John Lannan

 Number of games started allowing three runs or less:

Sabathia:         23

Lannan:           23

 ERA in those games:

Sabathia:         1.78 ERA (32 ER/ 161.2 IP)

Lannan:           2.24 ERA (39 ER/ 156.2 IP)

 Individual Record in those games:

Sabathia:         18-0

Lannan:           9-5

 Team Record in those games:

Sabathia:         20-3

Lannan:           12-11

 

Lannan’s biggest problem last year was the Nats offense. He was second from the bottom with a 3.71 run support average for pitchers with at least 200 IP. The Rays Matt Garza bested Lannan with a 3.68 RSA. It is the one statistic you never want to lead in.

  1. Remember the Opening Day bullpen last season? I didn’t think so. Here is why you have forgotten about them. The seven relievers: Joel Hanrahan, Joe Beimel, Mike Hinckley, Wil Ledezma, Saul Rivera, Steven Shell and Julian Tavarez are about as memorable as the movies Glitter, Gigli and The Hottie and the Nottie combined. They recorded seven blown saves in the first 21 games and 20 by the All-Star break with a 5.21 ERA. The bullpen has been bolstered–beefed up more than Popeye’s bicep–and if Matt Capps is the closer the Nats think he can be, the one he was in 2007 with 2.28 ERA, it will be game over in the ninth.

4.      The Nationals just got a small dose of Nyjer Morgan last season before he fractured his left hand at the end of August but it was enough to give Nats fans an everlasting high. He was electric at the top of the order and changed the total complexion of the offense and defense while adding speed to a lineup of lumberjacks. In 49 games with the Nats, he batted .351 (67-for-191) with 35 runs and 24 stolen bases. If he can provide that excitement, speed and defense for an entire season… Wow.

5.      What if Willingham plays the entire season like he did in May, June and July. He struggled for the first time in his career to find playing time and never was comfortable at the plate in April, batting .143. The “Hammer” returned in May. From May 5 to August 18, he batted .330 (86-for-261) with 18 home runs, 48 RBI and an on-base percentage of .430. He had a forgettable September so I won’t try to remember it. Willingham will be the everyday left fielder so don’t expect him to struggle at the start this season.

6.      Maybe Elijah Dukes finally has a breakout year. Just think if he can hit 20 home runs and drive in 90 to 100 RBI in the 6th hole?

7.      It is only time before Stephen Strasburg arrives in the Majors. And now daydream for a second about this possible rotation on July 1 as the Nats open a four game series against the Mets: Jason Marquis with a first half stuff like last year, Chien-Ming Wang fully recovered with a hard sinker circa 2007, John Lannan as his normal self and Stephen Strasburg starring as the savior he was anointed as in The Passion of the Christ before Jim Caviezel stole the role because he actually looked the part. The only question remaining is who of the five to seven qualified pitchers in the organization will be the fifth starter?

Gotta love Spring Training.

 

Nats Caravan Day 3

Notes from NatsTown is blogging from the bus throughout the Nationals’ 2010 Winter Caravan.

It is already the third day of the Caravan. You can see day one here and day two here… or you can just scroll down to see the previous posts.

 

The Second Annual Hot Stove Luncheon started at 1:15 p.m.

 


Hot Stove Menu 1.jpg
Hot Stove Marquis 2.jpgNBC’s “Meet the Press” Moderator and Nationals Season Ticket Holder David Gregory returned as moderator for the second straight year. There was a question-and-answer session after lunch and then the Nationals players signed autographs for those in attendance. Here is the list of players and front office staff that were in attendance: pitcher Jason Marquis, Nyjer Morgan, Adam Dunn, Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Willingham, John Lannan, reliever Ryan Speier, Craig Stammen, reliever Matt Capps, Tyler Clippard, reliever Brian Bruney, shortstop prospect Danny Espinosa, 2009 first round pick Drew Storen, Manager Jim Riggleman, GM Mike Rizzo, Team President Stan Kasten and broadcaster Rob Dibble.

 


Hot Stove Tony Plush 3.jpg
Hot Stove Tony Plush 4.jpg
Hot Stove Tony Plush 5.jpgThe Tony Plush No. 1 Regina Pats jersey was priceless. Morgan played for the Pats of the WHL for a brief stint during the 1999-2000 season. He played in seven games, scored two goals and sat in the penalty box for 20 minutes. Don’t mess with T. Plush when he is on the ice. On the other side of the scale… his teammate that same season Brett Lysak played 70 games and had only 24 penalty minutes.

 

The caravan will head to the Verizon Center to watch the Caps play the Panthers at 7 p.m. Nationals players will meet with fans and sign autographs in multiple locations at the venue, from 6 to 7 p.m.

“Rocking the Red” at the Caps game with the Nats.


Caps 1.jpg

 


Caps 3 Screech.jpg

 


 
Caps 4 0.jpg9:02–The Nats just won the air hockey shuffle. The announcer just said, “They won because they didn’t bring Teddy with them.”

 

On the Road with the NatMobile


NatMobile and Screech c.jpgThe NatMobile isn’t the Batmobile but it does have a few bells and whistles to boast about. In August, the NatMobile rolled into NatsTown with one goal–bring Nationals baseball to the local and regional communities. Since then the NatMobile has taken this message to anywhere and everywhere there is a road and Nationals fans.

 

The NatMobile is an extended arm of Nationals Park that gives fans a taste of the excitement that can be experienced in NatsTown.  When parked, the NatMobile transforms into one of the most exciting and interactive trucks around. The moment you step into the NatMobile you will be stunned by the Nationals memorabilia on display, team highlights on our 40-inch TV and, of course, the beautiful view or Nationals Park.

 


NatMobile pulled out c.jpgThe NatMobile has participated in many of events like a book signing with the Deen Brothers from the Food Network and the Montgomery Thanksgiving Parade. Centerfielder Nyjer Morgan has even joined the NatMobile on the road.  The NatMobile has also participated in many street festivals, baseball games, community events and parades. Keep your eyes open because you never know when you will see the NatMobile.

 

For requests or further information about the NatMobile, click here or follow them on twitter here.

30 Players in 30 Days: Pete Orr


090809-099 pete orr.JPG

Pete Orr

Utility infielder Pete Orr has been a valuable asset for every team he’s played for. He is a versatile defensive player and can play almost every position: third base, shortstop, second base, and all three outfield spots. He played for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic twice and participated in the 2004 Olympics. Orr was brought up to the Majors in 2009 when Nyjer Morgan was hurt on August 28 and came off the bench to give the Nationals a boost to close out the season.

Originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1998, Orr was signed as a free agent by the Braves in 1999. He made his Major League debut in 2005 and batted .300 in 112 games coming off the bench. While he has never been an everyday player, this multi-talented ballplayer has shown that he can contribute at any time.

“I love to be here. I want to be part of this team,” Orr said. “All I can do is play and be myself. I get in trouble when I do things that are not really me. If I stay within myself, I’ll be here. I love to be here.”

While nothing is set in stone, Orr will most likely get another shot at the Big League club out of Spring Training in 2010.

Pete Orr Final Major League Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

27

75

10

19

26

2

1

1

10

3

0

15

2

1

.253

.272

.347

.618

 

Pete Orr Final Minor League Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

120

412

50

101

151

13

5

9

50

27

3

77

18

8

.245

.305

.367

.671

 

30 Players in 30 Days: Nyjer Morgan

While Nationals Park may be empty and the players are back home with their families, Notes from NatsTown does not take a break just because the season is over. We’re here to give you your Nationals fix to hold you over until next spring. Starting today, we will run 30 Players in 30 Days, a feature which highlights members of the Nationals and their achievements this season. Tune in each weekday to see who we cover next!

First up, center fielder Nyjer Morgan


nyjer morgan1.JPGNyjer Morgan sprinted his way around the bases and into the hearts of the citizens of NatsTown when he was acquired from the Pittsburg Pirates in a trade on June 30. His dazzling plays in center field and flamboyant alter-ego, Tony Plush, brought life to the team both in the clubhouse and on the field.

The trade for Nyjer Morgan, one of GM Mike Rizzo’s biggest and best moves of the season, filled two of the Nationals’ biggest holes: a ground-covering center fielder and speed on the basepaths. Morgan’s range and speed allowed him to get to balls which routinely had fallen for hits in the past. He is essentially a younger version of Juan Pierre–a contact hitter with blazing speed and who fields his position well. According to his Ultimate Zone Rating, a defensive stat which tries to quantify the number of runs a player saves above a replacement player factoring in arm strength, range and defense, Morgan saved 27.4 runs this season–second most among all Major League outfielders.

 
nyjer morgan4.JPGMorgan’s time with the Nationals was limited this year as he was sidelined with a broken hand after 49 games. That didn’t keep him from ranking second in the National League with 42 stolen bases.  Yet he was caught 17 times, making his success rate 71%. The breakeven rate for stolen bases is 75%, meaning that, while Morgan’s mad dashes around the bases were exciting, he hurt the team’s ability to score runs a few times. He is not that far off and can improve if he just learns to pick his spots better which will come with more experience. Remember, this season was Morgan’s first full year in the Majors.

In his time with the Nationals, Morgan also exploded offensively. In Washington, he hit .351/.396/.435 as opposed to his Pittsburgh output of .277/.351/.356. He hits fastballs at an exceedingly high clip. However, he has trouble with off-speed pitches, something he can work on during the offseason.


 
nyjer morgan3.JPGWhile Morgan may make some appearances at hockey rinks this offseason, NatsTown is eagerly awaiting his  return next spring. Though he only played for just under two months, it was clear that he is just what the Nationals need to succeed. In games where Morgan played, the Nationals went 23-26 (.469) versus 36-77 (.319) in games where he didn’t play. The prognosis on his wrist injury is good and Tony Plush, or Nyjer Morgan, should be as ready as ever come Spring Training. 

Nyjer Morgan Final Stats

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

120

469

74

144

182

15

7

3

39

40

2

74

42

17

.307

.369

.388

.757

 
nyjer morgan2.JPG
 

Lineups 8/24

Brewers:
Lopez – 2B
Catalanotto – RF
Braun – LF
Fielder – 1B
McGehee – 3B
Cameron – CF
Kendall – C
Gallardo – RHP (11-10, 3.56)
Escobar – SS

Nationals:
Morgan – CF
Guzman – SS
Zimmerman – 3B
Dunn – 1B
Willingham – RF
Harris – LF
Gonzalez – 2B
Nieves – C
Balester – RHP (1-3, 6.75)

 

From the Stats Gurus…

The Nationals are fortunate enough to have two of the best defensive fielders in the game.  According to FanGraphs.com, one of the leading websites in baseball statistics, Nyjer Morgan ranks first overall in the Major Leagues in terms of fielding runs above average, while Ryan Zimmerman ranks fifth. No other team has two players within the top 10. Here are the top five:

Name                          Team                                Fielding          RAR               WAR

Nyjer Morgan              Nationals/Pirates                  26.7                 48.0                 4.8
Franklin Gutierrez         Mariners                              18.3                 40.3                 4.0
Ben Zobrist                  Rays                                    17.5                 62.6                 6.2
Randy Winn                 Giants                                  17.2                 19.5                 1.9
Ryan Zimmerman         Nationals                             16.5                 59.3                 5.9


Morgan resized.jpg

Fielding runs above average means the number of runs a player prevents over the number of runs that the average player would prevent.  So for example, Nyjer Morgan prevents 26.7 runs above the average player. The RAR shows the Runs Above Replacement, which factors in a player’s offense and defense and combines that with a replacement-level adjustment and a positional adjustment to determine how many runs a player is worth to his team. Ten RAR equals an extra win for a team, or the Wins Above Replacement (WAR).  The Nationals are one of only two teams with multiple players in the top 15 in the Majors for WAR (the other is the Rays, who have three).

Capture the Caption

Capture the Caption: Submit your caption to natstown@nationals.com or in the comments section. The winning caption receives a free Nationals T-shirt.


Jump 3 c.JPG

Capture the Caption

Capture the Caption: Submit your caption to natstown@nationals.com or in the comments section. The winning caption receives a free Nationals T-shirt.

 


Dunn reading the inside pitch 1.JPG

 

Capture the Caption

Capture the Caption: Submit your caption to natstown@nationals.com or in the comments section. The winning caption receives a free Nationals T-shirt.


morgan harris guzman.JPG

And the winning caption is: “Fun Bunch 2.0″

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 561 other followers