Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Storen likely to DL, Morse lat healed

US Presswire photo
Drew Storen resumed throwing today but needs a few weeks to build his arm back up.
Updated at 4:27 p.m.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Though neither figures to miss much time, both Drew Storen and Michael Morse are expected to open the season on the disabled list.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said as much this morning in updating the status of his closer and cleanup hitter, suggesting each will probably need to remain in Florida after camp breaks next week and go through a short rehab stint before rejoining the roster.

By late afternoon, though, the Nationals had received encouraging news on Morse, whose strained lat muscle has completely healed. He's been cleared to resume baseball activities, though the chances of him being ready for Opening Day still appear slim.

"I'm not going to be that optimistic," Johnson said following a 3-2 victory over the Mets. He added that the clean sonogram taken today of Morse's right shoulder "was the best news I had."

The outlook is even better for Adam LaRoche, who has been cleared to return to the lineup tomorrow after missing time with a foot injury. Johnson said he may still give the veteran first baseman one more day off as a precaution, but it looks like LaRoche will be ready to start the season.

The Nationals have been preparing for the loss of both Storen and Morse over the last week, believing each player won't have enough time to get themselves back into playing shape before the April 5 opener in Chicago. Both injured players, however, have made some significant progress in recent days.

Storen resumed throwing yesterday after taking time off to let anti-inflammatory medication work on his sore elbow and reported no problems. That said, the 24-year-old closer is going to need some time to rebuild his arm strength and pitch in several games before he's big-league ready.

That means Storen will probably remain in Viera when camp breaks Monday and then probably embark on a short rehab assignment with one of the Nationals' minor-league affiliates.

"I know that his arm is in pretty good shape right now," Johnson said. "But if it's a slow rehab, which I'm progressing to think it's going to be slow, he won't open the season. It could be hopefully sometime mid-April. Maybe I'm being overly hopeful. But I like to be positive and think positive things are going to happen with rehab, not necessarily taking the worst-case scenario."

Morse, meanwhile, threw from 60 to 90 feet today in Viera, then received the encouraging sonogram test. Johnson wouldn't go so far to say Morse will definitely start the season on the DL, but suggested there won't be enough time for him to get enough at-bats in time.

"He feels great," the manager said. "From talking to him, he's chomping. Now, whether that means if he can go swing hard, I'll just have to wait and see."

Though Storen and Morse are likely to be placed on the 15-day DL, each player's actual DL stint could be shorter. Teams are allowed to backdate the move to March 26 -- as long as those players do not appear in any games after that date -- which makes them eligible to return as early as April 10.

The fact LaRoche could play tomorrow against the Braves suggests the Nationals believe he'll be ready by Opening Day.

"We're running out of a little time, so I might go against what I usually do [and not give him one more day off] because of the lack of games left before the start of the season," Johnson said. "So I may get him in, get him a couple at-bats and then get him out of there."

Center fielder Rick Ankiel, meanwhile, is expected back in the lineup Friday after departing yesterday's game against the Marlins with quadriceps soreness. The Nationals expect Ankiel to be 100 percent healthy for Opening Day.

40 comments:

Cease the Opportunity said...

Morse was a no show until mid May last season, so may be this will be a good thing to just heal up 100% or as close as you can, Storen too...

SonnyG10 said...

Heal fast boys!

baseballswami said...

Since we are going to be playing baseball into October this year, this will especially help Storen make it through the longer season. I'd rather have issues at the beginning than at the end or have them play dinged up the whole season.

Max said...

If Morse isn't ready to start at Chicago on the 5th, I wouldn't mind seeing Lombardozzi out in LF. Kid's got pop and is a serious athlete.

MicheleS said...

Swammi.. pass that Koolaid!

Max.. umm, no offense, but Lombo didn't look to good in the OF (but I will take his bat)

Ztown17 said...

since we are going to be playing in october?? seriously? give me a break!

Marty said...

@Ztown17 - Guarantee you we play in October!

Series with the Phillies from Oct 1-3. :)

Anonymous said...

Rizzo sooo shoulda swapped Storen for Span when he reportedly had the chance last summer.

Anonymous said...

For all of you out there who trash the Orioles' fans...looks like Opening Day tickets are going for no less than $100 at Camden Yards on stubhub. The Nats, who are supposed to be contending for a playoff spot, can't even get fans to go to Opening Day in a year filled with excitement. $20 tickets for sale!!! Washington will NEVER be a baseball town. As a fan of both teams, pretty telling sign that the Nats have very, very few real fans. Maybe the worst in baseball. As a STH, most of the fans around me know so little about baseball that it isn't even funny. Where are all of the baseball fans??? 7 Million people in the DC area and we can't even get people to watch this team without gimmicks and promotions. Not a good sign for baseball in DC.

SCNatsFan said...

Sounds like Poopy has made the move.

Nats Firin' BBs said...

I don't know how many folks trash Orioles fans, however most trash the team.

I think that you are using one stat, and some anecdotes about your section at Nats Park, to make a generalization that isn't borne out by other data. The Nats drew 2500 fans per game more than the Orioles last year, and almost 200,000 fans more for the year. I imagine that with the buzz invovled around the team this year, the numbers will be higher. And if they actually play to expectations, the numbers will be higher still.

I think that the dates of the openers have something to do with it, as well. April 6th is during Spring Break for school systems around this area, and it is a late Friday afternoon game. Much easier to work a half day and take a half day off than to justify taking a whole day to make it to the Nats opener which is a 1 o'clock start. Also, the Nats opener is the following Thursday, which is not during Spring Break. Just a couple things I think may have some bearing on interest in opening day tix.

Anonymous said...

"Rizzo sooo shoulda swapped Storen for Span when he reportedly had the chance last summer."

That makes sense since Span is always so healthy...

Anonymous said...

My guess:

Ankiel, LaRoche and Wang (obviously) also start the year on the DL.

Pilchard

natsfan1a said...

Agree with SCNatsFan.

Anonymous said...

Span has his health issues, no doubt, but he's just a much more valuable guy than Storen. Storen's a closer in a world where most closers come and go. Guys like Joel Zumaya are very closer-worthy one year (2006) and out of baseball not long after (now), and guys like Joel Hanrahan are bums and become studs (now). Gold Glove caliber, quality hitting CFs are rare birds, even the frail ones.

Feel Wood said...

For all of you out there who trash the Orioles' fans...looks like Opening Day tickets are going for no less than $100 at Camden Yards on stubhub.

Opening Day in Baltimore has been a major "event" for years. Dating back to before Camden Yards. People will go to that game, and then never be seen again in the ballpark until Opening Day the next year. An Opening Day sellout in Baltimore says absolutely nothing about the health of the fanbase there.

The Nats, who are supposed to be contending for a playoff spot, can't even get fans to go to Opening Day in a year filled with excitement.

I stood in line for an hour at the box office on the day that single-game sales began this year. Almost everyone in line was there to buy Opening Day tickets or tickets to the Yankees series. (Not me, since as a STH I already have those. I was buying other games.) That morning, only onesies and twosies were available for Opening Day. By now it is likely sold out. Those tickets you see for $20 on StubHub will be going for much more a week from now when people who have gotten used to walking up at the last minute and getting into Opening Day find out they won't be able to do that this year.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how Burnett is doing. Haven't heard how he's feeling from his back spasm.

bups said...

Put Bernardina in LF and Ankiel in CF, if he is heathy. Putting an infielder with no power and no experience in LF makes absolutely no sense.

Anonymous said...

Bowden and Rizzo have had 7 long years to fix the CF poblem and they failed miserably. I say that is pretty pathetic.

Bowdenball said...

Can we make a collective pact to stop feeding the Orioles trolls please? We all know why they're here- their team is terrible and hopeless. We all know that it's basically a one sided deal, since very few if any Nats fans troll Orioles message boards.

The people that come here are a very small minority of an otherwise outstanding group of baseball fans who have been through hell for the last ten years, and who stick by their team despite having no reasonable hope of decent performance any time soon. Six years ago, we were in almost as miserable a position. It would be great both for our dialogue and as a service to our fellow baseball fans up 95 if we could just ignore the few idiot trolls and not let those people put the rest of the fan base in a negative light.

Anonymous said...

SCNatsFan said...
Sounds like Poopy has made the move.
March 28, 2012 2:09 PM
--------------------------------
I can’t believe Poopy McPoop is now
trolling “The Nats Insider”.

Mark, block that nutcase.

NatsFan05

Anonymous said...

Agreed. My bad, its just hard sometimes.

Cwj said...

Anon 1:43- I believe you are absolutely wrong about Storen and Span.
The title of closer may not mean anything, but being a very good reliever does. Storen is a very good RP, regardless of the saves he racks up.

Span had a concussion. Concussions are brain injuries. Baseball players have a very hard time coming back from such a serious injury.

Cease the Opportunity said...

Feel Wood said...

Except for the $5 day of the game tickets...

moron for a day said...

Concussions are brain injuries. Baseball players have a very hard time coming back from such a serious injury.

because unlike other sports - baseball players need brains.

oh, never mind.

natsfan1a said...

Don't think; it can only hurt the ballclub. :-)

baseball players need brains.

Cwj said...

Moron for a day- Actually yes.
Baseball is the "thinking man's game" :D

Seriously though, football players are allowed something like a two dozen concussions per year.
Brain damage is no joke.

When someone like Span or Brian Roberts says that their "brain hurts" and can't tolerate noise or light, that's something to take very seriously.

ehay2k said...

Nice one natsfan1a!

ehay2k said...

Cwj - sometimes, after I read the comments here, I wake up the next day and I can't tolerate noise or light. All I can remember from the previous night is something about the best 25 coming north, being in the best shape of their lives...

I wonder if I am getting a NatsInsider concussion?

I will medicate: (BANG! Gulp! BANG! Gulp!)

Cwj said...

Ehay- Well, you are in mid-season form!
I've had many NI concussions, and have yet to recover :-)

Oh and I agree, the best 25 go north! *apple juice shot*

Sunderland said...

ehay - Musn't one Gulp before one Bangs?
(and you can have the drink cwj offered me, you earned it)

natsfan1a said...

That could explain the lapses in memory. :-)

Sunderland said...

ehay - Musn't one Gulp before one Bangs?

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Ghostwritten vent by foe.

Does that count?

Mark'd said...

Love Mark's updates. Sounds like a full roster on April 10

Anonymous said...

Span has his health issues, no doubt, but he's just a much more valuable guy than Storen.

WRONG genius. Look at his age and his injuries.
I'm not sure why the fixation on lead off when NO ONE BUT Morse and Zimmerman have proven they can hit consistently for this team at this point? So? And LaRoche wonders why he is being platooned?

I can see Storen packaged for Votto (if the Reds fail to sign him), Berkman ... they NEED hitters not fly swatting slap hitters. They need Upton waaaaay before they need Bourn or Span and that's what the stat's say. Getting a Span or Bourn would HAVE LITTLE to no effect.

Now; Werth, Ramos, and Espinosa? Throw in Rendon and Harper? Now you're talkin' ...

Anonymous said...

Now; Werth, Ramos, and Espinosa? Throw in Rendon and Harper? Now you're talkin' ...

If they live up to their potential as hitters of course ...

The Dude Abides said...

Thr Orioles have message boards?????

Who'd of thunk it!

A DC Wonk said...

As to differences between the O's opening day and the Nats opening day -- here's another one: the O's opening day is actually their first game of the season, which always generates more excitement than, say, a home opener which is actually the team's 7th game of the season.

Anonymous said...

The biggest difference between the Nats and the Orioles Opening Day is that the Orioles will be opening another losing hopeless season and the Nats have the possibility of contending, and being very exciting in doing so. So if Opening Day attendance is your judge of success, put on your cartoon bird hat and spend your time at the "Yard" figuring the percentage of fans in attendance rooting for the other team.

The Voice of Bitter Experience said...

Do. Not. Feed. The. Trolls.

You will regret it. This place will look like the WaPo site, which once was grand.

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