Inbox: A turnaround of sorts for Morgan?

Inbox: A turnaround of sorts for Morgan?

Will the Nationals make Nyjer Morgan upgrade his sliding technique?
-- Dave C., Arlington, Va.

The Nationals want Morgan to slide feet-first instead of head-first. Morgan broke his left hand sliding head-first. Here's is what he said last November about his sliding technique: "If I have to make the change, I'm definitely prepared to make the change. But I'm not going to stop my aggressiveness on the basepaths. I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing out there. If I have to change my slide for the team's sake, I will. We have something brewing and it will be special. I just want to be on board with everybody."

Would you rather have the Nationals sign Orlando Hudson, or play Ian Desmond and spend money on pitching instead?
-- Alex C., Montreal

I would rather see Hudson play second base, Desmond become the Opening Day shortstop and the Nationals acquire another starting pitcher. I always say this: Play the kids. In my opinion, Desmond is confident and ready. I don't think last year was a fluke.

Adam Dunn has proven to be a real asset. Yet, you seem to want him gone because his defense isn't that great. How in the world are you going to replace 30-something home runs and a guy who lets Ryan Zimmerman see better pitches to hit? I like the direction the team is going and I hope that includes a slugger like Adam for years to come.
-- Tim H., Virginia Beach, Va.

I understand how you feel, but please remember that the Nationals are in the National League, where defense is important. I think general manager Mike Rizzo could find a player who could drive in runs and play great defense.

Contrary to what many people think, I do not want Dunn out of Washington. I simply want him improve his glove work, so the Nationals could win more games.

If the Nationals are to win more than 59 games in 2010, they have to improve their defense. I'm not going to blame the pitching staff for everything that happened last season.

Have a question about the Nationals?
Bill LadsonE-mail your query to Nationals beat reporter Bill Ladson for possible inclusion in a future Inbox column. Letters may be edited for brevity, length and/or content.
First Name, Last Initial:


Email Address:


By adding Jason Marquis, do you think the Nats will have a much stronger five-man rotation in 2010?
-- Thomas B., Boston

Yes, I think they will have a stronger rotation with Marquis, John Lannan and Craig Stammen. I still believe it's up in the air with Scott Olsen, Collin Balester, J.D. Martin and Garrett Mock. All four must have great Spring Trainings to be in the rotation.

Recently, pitcher Doug Davis expressed interest in joining the Nats' staff. Has Washington expressed any interest in him?
-- George S., Fairfax, Va.

The Nationals expressed interest in Davis during the Winter Meetings, but trying to acquire a second baseman is currently the top priority. I'll let you know when Davis is back on their radar.

Is there a place for Leo Mazzone in the Nats' organization? He has an excellent reputation as a pitching coach.
-- John H., Wyalusing, Pa.

There was a report last summer that the Nationals had interest in Mazzone, but team president Stan Kasten said there was no truth to the story.

What about platooning Willie Harris and Alberto Gonzalez at second base?
-- Bill P., Arlington, Va.

I don't see it happening. Gonzalez slumped badly under manager Jim Riggleman and the Nationals see Harris as a backup infielder. Harris will get most of the playing time in the outfield. I would love to see Harris get more playing time. I believe he can be an everyday player.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.