10 Nationals players you probably forgot about, one you want to forget
10 Nationals players you probably forgot about, and one you want to forget
From players with the last name Harper to former closers, here are a handful of players who you may have forgotten (or want to forget) played baseball in Washington, D.C., at some point in the past 14 years, starting with those who played in 2005 and working up through the years.
1. Vinny Castilla
Castilla played third base for the Nationals back in 2005, appearing in 142 games. That was his only year in D.C., back when he was 37 years-old and slashed .253/.319/.403, including 12 long balls.
Over his 16 years in MLB, from 1991-2006, Castilla played for seven teams, with various stints in Atlanta and a seven-year stretch in Colorado. The infielder finished his time in the majors with a career .273 batting average and 320 homers.
2. Carlos Baerga
Baerga spent the 2005 season in Washington to finish out his 14-year career after he solidified himself as an All-Star second baseman with Cleveland.
With the Nationals, Baerga mainly played first and third base, though he spent time at second as well. He played 93 games with Washington and batted .253 with 19 RBIs, a small portion of the 774 he knocked in over his career.
3. Brandon Harper
Yes, you read that right. And no, he isn't related to Bryce.
Brandon Harper caught for the Nationals back in 2006, his only year in the majors. He played 18 games but batted .293 in those few games while working a .362 on-base percentage.
Harper spent 2007 in Triple-A in the Nationals system, but that was all for the catcher.
4. Mike Bacsik
Bacsik, a southpaw drafted in 1996, played only five years in the majors. Even so, his career on the mound isn't what most people remember about the lefty, as much as they remember one fateful pitch.
In 2007, his final year in MLB, Bacsik delivered the pitch that became Barry Bonds' home run No. 756 and propelled Bonds past Hank Aaron on the all-time list. That season Bacsik recorded a 5.11 ERA in 118 innings while punching out 45 batters.
Bacsik went back down to Triple-A for his final year in professional baseball, the last of his 13 seasons in MiLB.
5. Elijah Dukes
Dukes, an outfielder, was with the Nationals for two seasons (2008-09), during which he couldn't overcome problems off the field. Dukes was arrested multiple times between his childhood and adulthood, both before and after his time with the Nationals.
In those two seasons in Washington, he batted at or above .250 and played in at least half of the Nationals games each season. The outfielder also hit 13 homers in 2008 and eight in 2009 to reach 31 career long balls.
He only played three years in the majors, after he made his major-league debut with Tampa Bay in 2007. After he was drafted in 2002, Dukes showed potential but struggled to overcome the problems that plagued him off the field.
6. Nyjer Morgan
From 2009-10, Morgan played center field for Washington, after the Nationals acquired him from Pittsburgh. Once in Washington, Morgan played 49 games and batted .351 in 212 plate appearances.
Then, in 2010 he hit .253 in 136 games and also stole 34 bases. (He stole 24 the previous season with the Nats and 42 total in 2009). After Washington, Morgan played two years with the Brewers, spent a year in the minors in Cleveland and then played 15 games for the Indians.
But Morgan's most memorable trait was the on-field persona he adopted as "Tony Plush," which he described as his "gentleman's nickname." Morgan was a character wherever he played, including his time in Washington. Like the time he initiated a benches-clearing brawl against the Marlins back in 2010.
7. Brad Lidge
After 10 years split between Houston and Philadelphia, Lidge finished out his major-league career in Washington with the Nationals for the 2012 season.
In his four years with the Phillies, Lidge pitched well. Excluding his 2009 season (with an ERA over 7.00), Lidge threw a sub-3.00 ERA the other three years, including his performance in the final game of the 2008 World Series.
But in Washington, Lidge struggled. The right-hander threw 9 1/3 relief innings over 11 games, working a 9.64 ERA and striking out 10. Lidge announced his retirement after that season and is now an archaeologist.
8. Rafael Soriano
In his time in the majors, including his two seasons with the Nationals (2013-14), Soriano became known for his "un-tuck."
With Washington, the closer set down 110 total batters and threw just over a 3.10 ERA both seasons. Soriano played for the Cubs in both the majors and minors in 2015, his last year in any MLB-affiliated baseball.
9. Asdrúbal Cabrera
Cabrera alternated between second and third base for the Nationals to close out the 2014 season after Cleveland traded him to Washington.
In his 49 games with the Nationals Cabrera slashed .229/.312/.389, including five homers. Since then, Cabrera has played with the Rays, the Mets and the Phillies, and currently plays with the Rangers.
10. Dan Uggla
Uggla became known to many Nationals fans as the second baseman for their N.L. East foes the Atlanta Braves. But in 2015, Uggla played for the Nationals after he signed as a free agent.
He spent most of his time in Washington on the right side of the infield, where he played 67 games and batted only .183 while striking out 40 times.
Jonathan Papelbon: The one you want to forget
Most Nationals fans remember Papelbon, who Philadelphia traded to Washington partway through the 2015 season. But, most don't want to remember the right-handed reliever.
Sure, Papelbon threw a 3.04 ERA in Washington in 2015 (4.37 in 2016) and recorded a combined 26 saves over the two seasons. But there was also that one incident toward the end of 2015, the one where Papelbon went for Bryce Harper's throat in the dugout the day after the Nationals were eliminated from playoff contention.
Papelbon hasn't pitched in professional baseball since the Nationals released him in late 2016.