Morgan expects to be gone by Opening Day

Morgan expects to be gone by Opening Day

Morgan expects to be gone by Opening Day
VIERA, Fla. -- Center fielder Nyjer Morgan believes his days with the Nationals are numbered and does not expect to be with the team by Opening Day.

Morgan, who is on the trading block, is aware the Nationals plan to use Rick Ankiel as their Opening Day center fielder. Ankiel is expected to platoon with Jerry Hairston Jr. in center field.

"I'm a realist," Morgan said. "I'm not going to sit here and be like, 'Oh, no. I want to finish my career here.' I just think this place isn't for me. I'm not saying there are bad people here. It's just that, maybe, I'm not a fit here anymore. It's time to move on."

Morgan, who has been the club's primary leadoff hitter for more than a year, is coming off a season in which he hit .253 with 24 RBIs. The Nationals were hoping that he would play winter ball in the Dominican Republic, but Morgan declined, wanting to get over a season in which he was involved in a brawl with the Marlins.

2010 Spring Training - null
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info

Morgan went into Spring Training as the starting center fielder, but he had to improve his offense against left-handed pitching, have a high on-base percentage, and play quality defense. Entering Friday's action against the Cardinals, Morgan was 12-for-51 [.235] with a home run and four RBIs. Some people in the Nationals' organization believe Morgan has been no more than adequate in center field.

Morgan said that if he starts the season as a bench player with the Nationals, he would accept his role.

"I still have to come to work and be a professional," Morgan said. "I have to still be able to do what I could do. If they think [Ankiel] did what he was supposed to do in Spring Training, my hat goes off to him. I can't sit here and be angry at anybody."