Slaten, Sanchez drop appeals; Morgan silent

Two players involved in last week’s Marlins-Nationals shenanigans in Miami have opted to drop their appeals and will begin serving their suspensions with tonight’s game between the two teams at Nationals Park.

Neither one, however, is Nyjer Morgan, who is still awaiting a ruling on his appeals of twin suspensions totaling 15 games. Morgan faces discipline for allegedly throwing a ball into the stands at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, for running over Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson on Aug. 28, for a verbal exchange with a fan in Miami last week and for his role in the on-the-field brawl between the teams Sept 1.

Nationals left-handed reliever Doug Slaten, who got a three-game ban for hitting Florida’s Gaby Sanchez with a pitch after the Nyjer Morgan-Chris Volstad main event, decided to drop his appeal and will miss the weekend series against the Marlins.

Sanchez, who delivered a WWE-style flying clothesline to Morgan after the Nationals center fielder charged the mound after a Volstad pitch was thrown behind him, began serving his three-game suspension Friday night. Sanchez was originally in Florida’s starting lineup, but his decision forced two changes: Wes Helms moved from third base to first base and Emilio Bonifacio taking over at third base and hitting leadoff. Center fielder Cameron Maybin, who was supposed to hit leadoff, was dropped to seventh in the new configuration. Sanchez said he decided to drop his appeal because he was sure the total would not be reduced.

Still no official word on Morgan, who is in the Washington lineup, hitting eighth and playing center field. Approached in the dugout before batting practice, Morgan declined to discuss the hearing, which lasted about four hours and was held at the team’s offices at Nationals Park.

“”I really can’t say anything until (a decision on the appeal is announced). I’d like to, but I can’t,” Morgan said.

Here are the lineups for tonight’s opener of a three-game series between the Marlins and Nationals:

Bonifacio - 3B
Morrison - LF
Ramirez - SS
Uggla - 2B
Helms - 1B
Stanton - RF
Maybin - CF
Davis - C
Sanabia -P

Espinosa - 2B
Desmond - SS
Zimmerman - 3B
Dunn - 1B
Bernadina - LF
Morse - RF
Rodriguez - C
Morgan - CF
Lannan - P

(Note: Pete Kerzel is pinch hitting for Ben Goessling for Friday and Saturday’s Nationals games.)