The Nationals, particularly Mike Rizzo, took a lot of heat for letting Adam Dunn walk this past offseason. The power hitter had done good things for the Nats, and many thought that the team wouldn’t be able to find someone to fill that hole.
These criticisms were compounded when Jayson Werth, the man who was brought in to help ease the loss of Dunn’s bat, had probably the most lackluster year of his career (though he has finished strong). Now, with just two games left in the season, Rizzo can look back on everyone and say…NA-NA NA-NA BOO BOOOOOOO!
Dunn has 11 home runs this year. Yep, 11. He’s been reviled in Chicago, eating up millions while striking out pretty much as many times as I would in an MLB season. He was sat, yelled at, and the butt of at least million jokes. Nats fans thought Werth was bad this season? Try bringing Dunn’s name up to some White Sox fans. It’ll get ugly real quick.
In the meantime, the Nats found a new, just as productive first baseman, even if it wasn’t the player they had in mind. The guy who emerged to fill Dunn’s hole was none other than Michael Morse.
After Adam LaRoche’s injury, the Nats needed a new first baseman, and Morse settled into the role nicely. Not only that, but he more than did his part at the plate. He hit his 30th home run of the year last night (almost triple Dunn’s total for the year).
I hindsight, the Nats came out on top in this situation. They now have Morse, Chris Marrero who has shown a lot in his September call-up, and, if they want him, LaRoche when he gets healthy. This really isn’t a bad spot to be in as the Nats’ infield is turning from a free-for-all to legitimately difficult thing to break into.
Oh next season, how we look forward to thee.