Are the Nationals still in the playoff hunt?
After claiming Michael Morse off waivers on Thursday, the Orioles spent the next 24 hours completing the trade with Seattle. Davey Johnson had actually heard from bench coach Randy Knorr during the game Thursday night it was going to fall through.
He heard because Nats players were following the situation during their game against the Marlins from the dugout. Somebody was in contact with Morse and feeding the rest of the team updates.
Having seen Morse blossom into a well-rounded slugger, Johnson praised the move. It’s his former player joining his former team and, to him, they seem the perfect fit.
“He’s a big impact on the lineup. Huge,” Johnson said. “At Camden Yards? I shudder to think. That ballpark’s made for him. He’s that right-center hitter and that’s the jet stream. He’s a good fit there.”
Morse was a fan favorite and popular clubhouse presence during the Nationals’ historic 2013 season. Despite the two parting ways in the offseason, Johnson has nothing but nice things to say about him.
“I think it’s great. I’m happy for him,” he said. "They’ll be having karaoke songs and all that over there.”
Nats to call up seven or eight for September
With MLB rosters set to expand on Sept. 1, Davey Johnson doesn’t expect any big surprises for the Nationals. Everybody they plan to bring up has either played for Johnson already this season or in spring training.
“I know all of them, I’ve seen them,” Johnson said. There’s nobody that will be coming up that hasn’t played for me before.”
Johnson said the Nats plan to call up three pitchers – all who have been up already this year - and four or five position players. Among the position players could be shortstop Zach Walters. The 23-year-old broke out this season at Triple-A Syracuse with 29 home runs and 77 RBI through 130 games.
Johnson was coy about Walters coming up, but may have dropped a hefty hint.
“Your call-ups, you reward people for good years,” he said. “He’s certainly deserving, let’s put it that way. I would like to see him come up.”