WASHINGTON -- Nationals catcher Derek Norris, the organization's best hitting prospect, was hit in the head with a fastball on Friday night and taken to a local hospital after lying motionless on the field for nearly 10 minutes, according to a press release.
Official reports were that Norris, who plays for Class A Advanced Potomac, was conscious and moving his extremities. The accident occurred against the Salem Red Sox.
"His vitals are fine and everything looks promising," said Doug Harris, the Nationals' director of player development.
Riggleman gives Morgan extra rest
WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Jim Riggleman decided to sit center fielder Nyjer Morgan for the second time in a week on Friday. Instead, Willie Harris led off and played right field against the Orioles.
Entering Friday's action, Morgan is hitting .212 during the month of May and has seen his batting average fall to .255. Part of the problem is that he is hitting only 10-for-50 [.200] against left-handed pitching. Even worse, he is 2-for-6 trying to steal bases in his past 16 games.
"We are going to let him regroup a little bit," Riggleman said. "Nyjer is playing hard every night. It's always a combination of things. We want him to get some extra work in with hitting coach Rick Eckstein, keep developing his game."
Morgan doesn't seem concerned about his recent struggles, figuring he will correct them soon.
"I just have to find it," Morgan said about his hitting. "I'm hitting the ball at guys, so I don't feel bad. You get these little skids. It's not mechanical. I'm just not getting the results."
Morgan didn't start playing baseball on a serious basis until he was in his late teens, and he acknowledged that he still has a lot to learn.
"I feel like I'm learning something every day," Morgan said. "There is always going to be something new in this game that we are going to learn and adjust to."
Mock headed to extended spring camp
WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Garrett Mock said that he had surgery three weeks ago in Dallas to fix a herniated disc in his neck. Mock said he is 100 percent and played catch at Nationals Park on Friday.
Mock said he will go to extended spring camp at the team complex in Viera, Fla., to strengthen his arm. He hopes to play in a big league game in six weeks.
Bruney clears waivers
WASHINGTON -- Five days after being designated for assignment, Brian Bruney has cleared waivers and will refuse an assignment to Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday. The Nationals have a week to trade him or give him his unconditional release.
When reached by phone, Bruney said that he still has the track record to be a Major League pitcher.
The Nationals thought Bruney would be one of their late-inning relievers, but he was hit hard, allowing 10.7 hits per nine innings while walking 20 batters in 17 2/3 innings.
Manager Jim Riggleman gave indications last Saturday that Bruney would be taken off the roster after he allowed three runs in one inning against the Rockies.
Bruney took the news like a professional, knowing that the Nationals had given him every chance to succeed.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.