11/08/09 3:11 PM EST
Inbox: What role will Morse play?
Beat reporter Bill Ladson answers Nats fans' questions
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
-- Joel G, Lynchburg, Va.
I see him being one of the backups at first base or in the outfield next year. I agree that he did a great job coming off the bench. He even contributed when he started at first or in the outfield.
I don't think Adam Dunn's fielding was that bad at first base. How many errors did he make at the position?
-- Craig B., Gaithersburg, Md.
He made eight errors in 67 games, but he doesn't have the range to stop balls in the hole or scoop up balls in the dirt. However, I have to say that he is much better at the position than he is in the outfield.
What do you think right-hander Shairon Martis must do to be successful in the Major Leagues?
-- Daniel G., The Netherlands
He must avoid getting hit hard and show he can get players like Ryan Howard out on a consistent basis. I would like to see Martis get a second chance to prove that he belongs in the rotation.
Who will be the Nats' closer next season?
-- Jose C., Silver Spring, Md.
This is a great question. Entering the offseason, Mike MacDougal is the guy. However, I heard there is interest in Mike Gonzalez, who had a 2.92 ERA, 10 saves and 92 strikeouts in 80 games for the Braves. If the Nationals do get Gonzalez, I could see him and MacDougal sharing the role.
Jermaine Dye is a free agent. Could we see general manager Mike Rizzo make a move for him?
-- Nick S., Erma, N.J.
While I think Dye would be a great pick-up, you have to think about Elijah Dukes, whom I see as the starting right fielder. I don't see Dukes on the bench. As I say that, the 2010 season is the year Dukes must show that he can reach his full potential.
What is your conclusion about Alberto Gonzalez? I think it's clear that he doesn't have what it takes to be a starter in the Majors.
-- Alex C., Montreal
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I think it's pretty clear that he is no more than a backup. I was shocked with the way he played after interim manager Jim Riggleman made him the everyday second baseman. There were times I thought he wasn't fundamentally sound with the bat and glove.
Are the Nats content with starting Wil Nieves next season at catcher until Jesus Flores is healthy?
-- Will S., Reston, Va.
The answer is no. The Nationals see Nieves as a backup and would like to get a catcher who can play every day just in case Flores is not ready for Spring Training or Opening Day.
What is happening with Tim Foli? I heard a lot of positive things about his work as the Syracuse manager, but now I read that Trent Jewett was just named to that position. Will Foli be a coach for the Nats? Is he in the running for the manager position? Thanks.
-- Scott S., Vienna, Va.
Foli has done great things in the Nationals' Minor League system. One could say he is the best manager/coach they have ever had in the system. I would have to believe a promotion to the big leagues is in order. From what I understand, if Foli is not promoted to the big leagues, he will be an advisor in the Minor Leagues.