Maxwell to get more starts in place of Morgan

Maxwell to get more starts in place of Morgan

PHILADELPHIA -- With center fielder Nyjer Morgan suspended for eight games starting Friday, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said Justin Maxwell will split time in center field with Roger Bernadina.

Riggleman declined to say if this was Maxwell's last chance to show that he could hit on a consistent basis. Maxwell has spent parts of three seasons in the big leagues and has a .206 career average with nine home runs and 24 RBIs.

The Nationals were hoping that Maxwell would make the big league club out of Spring Training, but he was inconsistent with the bat and spent most of the season with Triple-A Syracuse.

Riggleman acknowledged that he is rooting for Maxwell because he is a "class individual."

"I really want Maxwell to take off with some of these opportunities and use it as a period to show us he is the real deal and ready to get after it," Riggleman said. "He is going to get a fair number of games anyway because we are going to see a couple of left-handers from the Astros. I'm going to put it on him to take this opportunity and run with it."