Nationals outfielder Josh Willingham hit a respectable .254/.364/.470 last year, which is very similar to his career line. His defense isn’t too bad, either. FanGraphs suggests he was worth $10.3MM last year, and he’ll earn $2.95MM in ’09. All in all, pretty good player. So how come he doesn’t have a starting job?
According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, Willingham may be the odd man out in the Nationals outfield if everyone is healthy. They’re set to employ an Adam Dunn/Lastings Milledge/Elijah Dukes starting outfield, with Willie Harris and Austin Kearns also looking for playing time out there.
Willingham thinks the situation will work itself out, and he’s smart not to get worked up. Maybe Mike Rizzo can move Nick Johnson and open up first base. Failing that, someone figures to hit the DL sooner or later.