Tonight, the Milwaukee Brewers (7-5) come into Washington, D.C. to face off against the Nationals (5-7). Normally, this matchup would be mind-numbingly bland for any non-Washington or Milwaukee fan, but the presence of Nyjer Morgan makes this series an interesting one to watch—that is, if Morgan plays.
Nyjer Morgan is reportedly not in the starting lineup for the fifth-straight game in tonight's series opener. He is hitting .476 in 12 games for the Brew Crew—his third team since being called up to the big leagues in 2007 with the Pirates. Morgan was hitting .359 in 49 games for Washington after they traded for him and current closer Sean Burnett, in exchange for their closer Joel Hanrahan and OF Lastings Milledge.
Nyjer broke his hand in August of '09 and was never the same for the Nats, as he hit for a .253 AVG and a poor .319 OBP where he spent most of his time in the leadoff spot last year.
Although it is not clear why Morgan, the former Nat, will not be starting again tonight, it doesn't mean that his former team shouldn't be on high alert in this series. Morgan's reputation proceeds him, and Nyjer is a well-known hothead. I don't anticipate that Morgan will cause a bench-clearing brawl similar to the one he started in Florida, but if he at least starts one game in this three-game set, I expect Morgan to make his presence known.
The only other question now is: Will Nyjer make his former team regret handing him his walking papers—so to speak (trade)—or will he reassure them that they made the right choice?