Results tagged ‘ Willie Harris ’
It was learned recently that the Nationals have expressed interest in free-agent left-hander Mark Buehrle, and former Nationals outfielder Willie Harris said Buehrle would be a great fit for the Nationals or any other National League team.
Harris should know. The two were teammates with the White Sox for four seasons and won a World Series title in 2005.
“He knows what he is doing on the mound,” said Harris, who played with the Mets this past season. “He is not going to light up a radar gun, but he has been able to get people out for the last 12 years. He works fast. The defense behind him is always going to be on their toes. There is not a lot of times wasted when Mark Buehrle is on the mound.”
Harris said the year White Sox won the World Series, Buehrle was the guy the team went to for a big victory.
“Mark Buehrle was the leader of the rotation,” Harris said. “We had Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland, Jose Contreras, but Buehrle led the way. I’m not taking anything away from those other pitchers, but I just felt that Mark Buehrle was the guy. He was the ace for the White Sox for a long time.”
On Friday, I asked a question to my Twitter followers: Are you happy with the right-field platoon of Willie Harris and Willy Taveras? Why?
Of the 40 people who responded, 35 made it clear that they were not happy with the right-field platoon, while five were OK with the situation.
Here’s what some of the Twitter followers had to say:
@CraigsOnABoat: It’s time to let our young guns sink or swim. Roger Bernadina is ready and has a much better makeup for right field than Harris/Tavares.
@NotRizzo: Absolutely not happy about Taveras. Mike Morse is a much better option vs. left-handed pitching.
@NFA_Brian: I would rather see Bernadina get a chance to sink/swim.
@emmi1966: I’d prefer to see one guy have the job.
@tylerradecki: I think the team should stick with Bernadina and give him a chance instead of Taveras. See what Roger can do with a platoon.
@LeperMessiah: No. Neither is experienced in right field and Taveras is not a Major League bat.
@SacksJacked: There are better options, but I’m limited with 140 characters.
@federalbaseball: Taveras/Harris? Hmm, so about that long-rumored trade for an outfielder?
@NatsEnquirer: It reeks strongly of the old Nook Logan/Ryan Langerhans no-hit CF platoon of 2007. Blah.
@kfisher32: I think Bernadina is the way to go at this point. Possibly more upside than the Willie or Willy.
@Neuman85: No one seems to like Taveras, but he seems like a fit for the 2-hole.
@Khillock: Would Maxwell fit in RF? If so, I’d rather see him than the TaHarris platoon.
@soullmeetsbody: They will be a hitting nightmare. Look at their OPS stats.
I really want to tell the fans of DC, Jim Bowden and Mike Rizzo thanks a lot for helping me out in many ways. I really grew up a lot because of those two guys. I also want to give a hug to Harolyn Cardozo and Willie Harris for the time that I needed people the most. A special thanks to them.
Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said if the regular season started Sunday, Willie Harris would be the Opening Day right fielder against the Phillies.
Harris most likely would face Philadelphia ace Roy Halladay, a pitcher Harris has never faced during his career.
It would mark the second time Harris would be in the Opening Day lineup. The first time occurred on April 5, 2004, when he led off for the White Sox. He went 0-for-4 against the Royals that day.
“I’m looking forward to that Opening Day start,” said the left-handed hitting Harris said. “We are facing a tough pitcher that day. It doesn’t matter who we are facing. I’m just happy to have that opportunity.”
Just because Harris is the Opening Day right fielder, does not mean he will be play that position on a regular basis.
The club is already talking about a platoon between Harris and Justin Maxwell. If that doesn’t work, the second option is platooning Harris with Mike Morse.
Riggleman also added Sunday that Roger Bernadina is now in the mix to be a platoon player. Bernadina, a solid defensive outfielder, is 7-for-28 [.250] with an RBI this spring.
“What I think is going to happen is, whoever is swinging a hot bat is going to play. That’s how it really goes — no matter what,” Harris said. “If you are swinging a hot bat and you are doing everything right — helping the team win and bringing energy every day — you are going to play.”
Don’t rule out general manager Mike Rizzo trying to acquire a right fielder. Jermaine Dye is still a free agent. Don’t look for the Nationals to break bank to acquire his services. If Dye is too expensive, look for the Washington to make a trade for an outfielder.
Nationals center fielder Willie Harris left Saturday’s game against the Braves because of right oblique strain. It’s doubtful he will play the last game of the season against Atlanta on Sunday afternoon at Turner Field.
After striking out in the top of fifth inning against right-hander Jair Jurrjens, Harris was seen limping back to the visiting dugout. He was replaced by outfielder Justin Maxwell.
Harris is hitting .235 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs this season.
Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson continues to be on the trade block, but getting traded may be another story.
According to one baseball source, the Nationals are asking too much for Johnson. Teams are not willing to give up top young players for a guy who gets injured often.
This year, however, Johnson has been healthy all season. He was hitting .305 with six home runs and 38 RBIs entering Thursday’s action against the Cubs.
It was also learned that “contending teams” have interest in outfielder/infielder Willie Harris, a popular figure in organization.
Opposing teams like Harris because he can play all of the positions accept for first base, catcher and pitcher. It’s not known which teams are interested in Harris.
Infielder/outfielder Willie Harris begins his rehab assignment on Wednesday as Triple-A Syracuse face Lehigh Valley at Alliance Bank Stadium.
On Thursday, shortstop Cristian Guzman will begin playing in Extended Spring games in Florida. The Nationals Extended Spring club will play the Tigers on Thursday.