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Three Nats, Just One Center Field

The Washington Nationals are conducting a three-man competition for center field, featuring Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina, and incumbent Nyjer Morgan. Adam Kilgore (via the Post):

The competition remains open because none of the three players has overwhelmed team decision-makers, as Michael Morse did in left field.


Ankiel provides the most power of the three, Morgan the most experience in center and Bernadina the most upside.

That's exactly right, which is why I would go with Bernadina.

Ankiel might have something left, but he's been awful for the last two years and he's showed nothing in spring training. Morgan's actually better than I figured, but he's also 30 and not likely to get better. Bernadina's sort of the sweet spot, decent numbers in the minors and still young enough to show them in the majors. Seems to me that Ankiel and Morgan are just delaying the inevitable.

Meanwhile, I'm intrigued by that throwaway line about Michael Morse.

Mike Morse? Yeah, really. I never gave him a second thought when he played for the Mariners. But he was better last season with Washington than you might have noticed, and his recent Triple-A performance has been solid.

Is "every-day left fielder" a stretch? Yeah, it probably is. But Morse is going to have a better career than I would have guessed, just a year ago.