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Morgan making most of chance with Tribe

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Nyjer Morgan prides himself on being a catalyst for a lineup and an entertainer for the fans. So far this season, the outfielder has performed well in both regards while filling in for injured Indians center fielder Michael Bourn.

"The only way I know how to play is just with energy," Morgan said. "It feels good just being in this position, just holding down the fort for Mikey Bourn for him to get back. I'm just trying to fit in and do what I can to help this team get to the playoffs."

Full Game Coverage

CLEVELAND -- Nyjer Morgan prides himself on being a catalyst for a lineup and an entertainer for the fans. So far this season, the outfielder has performed well in both regards while filling in for injured Indians center fielder Michael Bourn.

"The only way I know how to play is just with energy," Morgan said. "It feels good just being in this position, just holding down the fort for Mikey Bourn for him to get back. I'm just trying to fit in and do what I can to help this team get to the playoffs."

Full Game Coverage

In Tuesday's 8-6 victory over the Padres, Morgan contributed two RBIs, collected three hits and reached base four times for Cleveland. Through six games, the outfielder has hit .389 (7-for-18) with three runs, four RBIs, six walks and a .520 on-base percentage.

Indians manager Terry Francona has been happy with Morgan's results, especially considering Bourn is still rehabbing a left hamstring injury in the Minors.

"He's been on base I think more than half the time," Francona said. "That's the biggest thing. After that, he can't really control whether we drive him in, but he's been on base a ton. That's been great."

Morgan has done what he can to keep his over-the-top alter ego, Tony Plush, at bay, but the outfielder has slipped into his famous character a few times this season.

"I'm trying to stay humble, trying to keep my buddy T. Plush from coming back from vacation," Morgan said with a laugh. "He's around. He's around."

Fans at Progressive Field have seemingly jumped on board the Morgan train, especially after hearing his walk-up music on Tuesday night. Morgan and his wife were watching WWE's "Monday Night Raw" earlier this week and saw the audience's reaction to Daniel Bryan's entrance music. The crowd raises their arms and repeatedly chants, "Yes!"

On Tuesday, fans inside Cleveland's ballpark reacted the same when Morgan used the song.

"I had to come out to the Daniel Bryan [song]," Morgan said. "I know he's the People's Champ, but I like to call myself the People's Champ, too."

Morgan is clearly having fun, but he is trying to keep things under control and in perspective.

"I know myself," Morgan said. "This is probably the most comfortable I've felt in my six years in the bigs. I know myself and I know what I'm capable of doing. I'm not trying to get ahead of myself. I'm not trying to be someone that I'm not."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.

 

Cleveland Indians, Nyjer Morgan