Nyjer Morgan’s uplifting season with the Nationals has come to an abrupt end. The speedy center fielder and leadoff man broke a bone in his left hand in the first inning today and will miss the rest of the year.
“It’s broke, guys, and I’m done for the year,” Morgan said, walking past several reporters in the clubhouse at Wrigley Field following today’s 5-4 win over the Cubs.
Morgan hurt himself sliding headfirst into third base in the top of the first. He had already drawn a walk, then stole second and then stole third before scoring on Cristian Guzman’s RBI double. He didn’t take the field for the bottom of the inning, and X-rays later revealed he broke the second metacarpal bone in his left hand.
GM Mike Rizzo said Morgan will fly home to Washington tonight and be examined tomorrow by hand specialist Thomas Graham. The club will add another player in time for tomorrow night’s game against the Cardinals, but Rizzo said a decision on which player to add hasn’t been made yet.
In the meantime, Willie Harris will take over for Morgan in center field.
Morgan had been brilliant with the Nationals since his acquistion from Pittsburgh on June 30, batting .351 (67-for-191) with a major-league-leading 24 stolen bases.
“It hurts,” Rizzo said. “It’s a stumble for us. But Willie’s been out there before, before Nyjer got here. Willie’s going to be out there again. It’ll give him a chance to step up again and do what we have him on the team for. The other guys just have to step up like we did today.”