JUPITER, Fla. - So far, the position where the Nationals have the most competition this spring, left field, has yielded the best performances. Roger Bernadina and Michael Morse are both 5-for-7, with three homers between them, and Rick Ankiel homered in his first start.
At the moment, those three players are mostly competing to win the left field job. If there's a chance that either Bernadina or Ankiel could wind up taking a big chunk of the playing time in center field, manager Jim Riggleman isn't saying so, at least not yet.
"You like to think there's an open competition everywhere, but that's not the case," Riggleman said. "Really, left field is what we're looking at (for competition). ... The three of them are competing for that one spot."
Nyjer Morgan is in the lineup today, having started the spring 0-for-6. Two of those outs have been poor bunts, but Riggleman said he wants Morgan to lay a bunt down every time he's in a game. Because of that, he's viewing Morgan's performance knowing that he could be sacrificing an at-bat a game.
"Nyjer's doing fine," Riggleman said. "He's making some adjustments with (hitting coach Rick) Eckstein. We're confident that he's going to put it all together as we move toward March 31st."