Morgan has been running on empty of late

Morgan has been running on empty of late

CHICAGO -- Before Monday's game against the Cubs, Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan had a talk with manager Jim Riggleman about being caught stealing four times in nine attempts.

Morgan wondered if sliding feet first is the reason he has gotten off to a slow start when it comes to stealing bases. The Nationals want him to slide feet first in order to prevent a hand injury. Last August, Morgan missed the final month of the season after breaking his left hand sliding headfirst into third base against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

During the talk, according to Morgan, Riggleman gave him the go-ahead to slide headfirst on certain conditions.

"If it's going to be close, go headfirst. If I know I can get it for a fact, go feet first," Morgan said. "I feel comfortable with my hands."

Morgan plans to wear protective guards for his wrist and hands while he is on base.