Associated Press photo
Michael Morse tracks down a fly ball during a workout last week.
Manager Davey Johnson said this morning Morse will remain in left field through the entire camp. Johnson won't use his cleanup man at first base at all.
"No, I will not," Johnson said. "I've got a bunch of guys lined up over there. I've got enough of them over there. I'm probably shorter on outfield candidates than I am people that can play first."
Morse started 82 games at first base last season, most on the roster. But with LaRoche expected to be 100 percent after recovering from shoulder surgery, Morse will open the season in left field and stay there.
The Nationals prepared for this all along, moving Morse to left field last September while rookie Chris Marrero got time at first base. Johnson liked what he saw from the versatile slugger, who originally came up with the Mariners as a shortstop and has also played third base in the big leagues.
"You guys knew about it at the time: I was thinking about whoever was going to be here next year, it would be nice if 'Mo' could play in the outfield," Johnson said. "With LaRoche being here for sure this year and probably next year if he has a big year this year, that was what the roster dictated."
LaRoche, meanwhile, is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut Wednesday against the Cardinals after dealing with a minor ankle sprain and recovery from his shoulder surgery.
LaRoche will get some at-bats in a minor-league game tomorrow, then take Tuesday off, then start Wednesday.
"He's feeling pretty good," Johnson said. "But we're just being on the cautious side."