Center fielder Nyjer Morgan, who was nothing short of a revelation in the six weeks he played for the Nationals before getting hurt last season, is struggling early this spring at the plate; he's hitting just .167 with a .211 on-base percentage in five games, and hasn't driven in a run yet. Manager Jim Riggleman said Morgan is working on some adjustments to his swing, and attributed most of the struggles to that.
"He's a little bit in-between," Riggleman said. "He's really working hard with (hitting coach Rick) Eckstein. Rick is trying to get him to smooth some things out, and you see it some days, and the next day it's not there. And that's almost a good thing. It's spring training. We don't want Nyjer to peak here. The fact that he's in-between a little bit keeps him going back in that cage to keep working and trying to find it."
Morgan hit .351 for the Nationals in 49 games last year, raising his average for the season to .307 after coming over in a trade with the Pirates on June 30. He broke his left hand sliding into third base in August, and while he's recovered from the injury, he's gotten off to a slow start this spring. Riggleman said he isn't worried about Morgan getting on track, though.
"Nyjer's one of those guys that sometimes it's not as much about the quality of his swing as just the level of competitiveness that he has," Riggleman said. "Sometimes Nyjer's just going to get in there and say, 'I'm going to get you, one way or the other.'"