Tag: elijah dukes

Elijah Dukes Available

The Washington Nationals have released eternal enigma Elijah Dukes.

The remarkably talented outfielder was penciled in as the Opening Day rightfielder. According to GM Mike Rizzo, the move was NOT made due to a behaviorial issue.

From the Washington Post:

General Manager Mike Rizzo called Dukes’s release “a performance-based decision” and that “no singular incident” led to the decision. But Rizzo also implied that Dukes’s presence in the clubhouse adversely affected the Nationals, saying they “will be a more cohesive group” without him.

“The clubhouse will be more united,” Rizzo said. “We’ll have a better feel around the ballclub. We’ll gain just by that alone.”

I will be the first to say that the Mets do not need any potential headaches. I will also say that Dukes is beginning to look like another Milton Bradley: an outfielder seemingly oozing with talent, but one who may never fully realize his potential due to the simple fact that his on-field performance does not outweight his off-field issues.

Many people inside the Nats organization (including teammates) assert that the 25-year-old Dukes has matured drastically since arriving in Washington, DC in December 2007. However, his athletic skill has not translated into results; he hit only .250 with a .729 OPS and played poor defense in over 100 games in 2009.

I’m sure there are a few Mets fans out there who are interested in Dukes, so please voice your opinion in the comments.


Milledge Demoted

Where They Are Now: Lastings Milledge

After starting the season 4-for-24 (.167) with 10 strikeouts as the Nationals’ leadoff batter, former Met Lastings Milledge was optioned to AAA.

“He is still a work-in-progress as a leadoff man,” assistant general manager Mike Rizzo said during a conference call.

“This is certainly a message that we need for players to perform,” Rizzo said. “We need for players to adapt to the major leagues, and we need players to succeed.”

Elijah Dukes, hitting a blistering .381, will take over as the everyday centerfielder for the Nats.

For those who missed LMillz’s spring training comments, I provide some of them here again for your entertainment:

“You know, there’s always a thing where, Oh, rookies have to be here 2-1/2 or three hours before stretch. No. I’m not gonna be here three hours before stretch. If you’re here and you get your work in, it shouldn’t matter how early you’re at the field. You know what you need to do. That’s fine. You don’t have to be at the park three, four hours before the park if you don’t want. You don’t see nobody clocking in three or four hours before they have to show up to work. So, I mean, some people feel like they have to get here to read the newspaper or do crossword puzzles or get their mind ready. I feel like I come to the park, I have 45 minutes of stuff I have to do to get prepared for practice and get ready for the game. Five minutes might be watching videos. Fifteen minutes might be going in the cage. And then getting whatever other work I need.”

Be sure to read the entire article here.