Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Morse not worried about lat strain

Updated at 3:18 p.m.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Michael Morse was a late scratch from the Nationals' lineup for today's spring training game against the Braves due to a lat strain that had been bothering him for several days, but the cleanup hitter doesn't believe he'll be out more than a day or two.

The club officially said Morse's status is "day-to-day," and the left fielder backed up that sentiment when describing the injury. Asked if he's worried at all, he replied: "No, I'm not, and I get worried. It's early and there's plenty of time to get it going. I can still hit, I can still run, I just can't throw. I'll be fine hitting."

Even if the injury isn't serious, it wouldn't be surprising if Morse misses several days because manager Davey Johnson tends to be overly cautious with all of players when dealing with minor tweaks and scrapes.

Morse's strain is to the right latissimus dorsi, the muscle that stretches from the upper back to underneath the armpit. It's a common injury among ballplayers, especially pitchers, and it can easily be tweaked from swinging a bat.

He said he first noticed a problem a couple days ago when his back felt "kind of tight." He served as the Nationals' DH on Sunday and wasn't hindered at all. He was scheduled to start in left field this afternoon but still felt tightness when he was playing catch before batting practice, so he alerted the club's training staff.

"There's no reason to push it this early," he said. "It's just something that needed a little break, a little rest, probably a little overworked or something."

Morse said the injury is "underneath my shoulder blades, it just feels like a little knot." There's no rehab for him to perform, just rest himself and ice the area.

With Morse sidelined for at least the day, the Nationals had to reshuffle their lineup. Veteran Chad Tracy, scheduled to DH, was been bumped up to the cleanup spot. Brett Carroll, batting ninth, shifted from right field to Morse's spot in left field. And rookie Bryce Harper came off the bench to start in right field and bat seventh.

This represented the fourth time in five days Harper has been in the Nationals' lineup starting in right field. The 19-year-old entered the day 4-for-7 with a walk so far in Grapefruit League play.

27 comments:

Steady Eddie said...

gulp...

Anonymous said...

And thanks to Ted Lerner and Mike Rizzo, the depth is pretty pathetic on the bench.

Not Werth It said...

You think Davey is serious about the whole giving Bryce Harper a real shot to make opening day thing? I'd say so.

Cwj said...

Hopefully it's not too serious, to state the obvious.
Losing Morse for any amount of time in the regular season would be catastrophic for the offense.

Anonymous said...

Most juvenile comment of the day

Anonymous said...
And thanks to Ted Lerner and Mike Rizzo, the depth is pretty pathetic on the bench.

March 06, 2012 12:36 PM

SpingfieldNatsFan1 said...

Is this similar to the Zimmerman injury last year but a tear? With our often pathetic offense we can't afford to lose Morse for any significant time.

ehay2k said...

Ouch! I think the Nats need a stretching coach: Harper hurt his hammy last year, Marrero tore his (I bet that hurts a lot), now Morse.

Just seems like we get a lot of soft tissue injuries.

Bring the best non-injured 25 North! (gulp)

Anonymous said...

Oh, God! It is spring training and someone is hurt. What chance do we have now for a successful season?

Another epic failure by the Nats honchos.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

And in honor of the late Davy Jones:
Take the Lat Strain to Clarkesville

Unkyd said...

Sofa....: Brilliant!!!

lefty1950 said...

Sofa, you have too much time on your hands, but very very clever!!

blovy8 said...

I'm A Believer, but the thing is, it's not like any outfielder is EVER going to get a minor injury that might be helped by rest and a capable outfielder filling in, right?

Rabbit said...

We won't lose Mores. But, even if we did, our starting pitching and the pen will keep us in all games!!! Can you believe that!@@??!!

SweetBlues said...

Da$%

blovy8 said...

Best part of the spring so far is DeRosa hitting a homer. That's pretty much the bench.

baseballswami said...

Tommy Milone pitching on mlb channel for the a's against the brewers. awwww - our little tommy is all grown up now!

NatsNut said...

wait, isn't that where the labrum is too? gulp is right.

baseballswami said...

Yes, I know he's not a Nat anymore, but little Tommy just struck out Braun. I can't help but feel a little proud of him. He represents the present day quality of our farm system. It's interesting watching where former nats end up.

RPrecupjr said...

No, NatsNut, it's "near" the labrum in the sense that they both are involved in the articulation of the shoulder joint, that's about it. The lat (or latissimus dorsi) is the muscle that, if you look at an athlete's back, makes that "V" shape from the shoulders to the lower back. As we discovered with LaRoche last year, the labrum affects swinging the bat as well as throwing. Morse says his only issue is throwing. My guess is he aired one out in practice and tweaked it a little. I wouldn't be surprised to see 2-3 days off with ice, massage and whirlpool therapy followed by a couple of days as DH before returning to left field.

MicheleS said...

Just posted on twitter

Peter Gammons‏@pgammo

Nats gave Lee County their plans to reconstruct Boston's former downtown Ft Myers park, likely there in 2014 if county can afford it

Anonymous said...

new post -- GIO

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Ft. Myers? Cool. Still got peeps there.

SonnyG10 said...

Ala Sam Huff, just rub some black salve on it and it'll be fine.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

wait, isn't that where the labrum is too?

I think Labrum is up Rte. 1, past Greenbelt.
What? Oh. Nevermind.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

My guess is he aired one out in practice and tweaked it a little.

That, and the cold snap they had the other day couldn't have helped. Gives me back spasms almost every time.

Ask Da Meat Hook Bout Dat said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see 2-3 days off with ice, massage and whirlpool therapy

There's nothing a guy won't do to get Tatiana to lay some hands on him.

SweetBlues said...

This injury is evidently more problematic than originally thought.

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