Saturday, April 7, 2012

Morse getting treatment in New York

US Presswire photo
Michael Morse homered during last night's rehab game in Bowie.
CHICAGO -- Already planning to take a day off from his rehab assignment with Class AA Harrisburg, Nationals left fielder Michael Morse is heading to New York today to receive treatment on his healing right lat muscle.

Manager Davey Johnson described the one-day trip to New York as strictly for treatment purposes and said the lat tear that sidelined Morse for much of March has completely healed. The club still anticipates to have its cleanup hitter back in the lineup as soon as Tuesday, the first day he's eligible to come off the disabled list.

"He wasn't going to play today, so he's taking the time to go to New York and see this doctor guru [Derek] Jeter and [Alex] Rodriguez and [Jayson] Werth and everybody goes to see," Johnson said before today's game against the Cubs. "Just knowing he was going to have the day off, he just went up there. New York's not that far from D.C. Get a little treatment."

Morse is expected to resume his rehab assignment with Harrisburg tomorrow at Bowie, hoping to pick up where he left off last night when he homered and doubled.

Johnson did say Morse "felt just a little bit" in the injured area when throwing. "I'm sure he tried to throw too much and felt a little bit there, but nothing wrong with swinging," the manager said.

Center fielder Rick Ankiel, also on a rehab assignment with Harrisburg, also homered during last night's game. Ankiel is expected to be activated once he becomes eligible April 14.

The anticipated return of both regulars will force the Nationals to make some difficult roster decisions. Two players from the Opening Day squad will have to be dropped. Candidates include outfielders Roger Bernadina and Brett Carroll, infielder Steve Lombardozzi and first baseman Chad Tracy. Of that group, only Lombardozzi has an option left and can be sent to the minors without first clearing waivers.

Johnson said he has a good idea already which players will go, though he wouldn't reveal that yet.

"Things change," the manager said. "I'm prepared to make it, when and if they come back. There's a lot of things that have to happen between now and the 10th and 14th."

One player who doesn't appear to be in any danger of losing his job is Xavier Nady, the veteran outfielder who was unemployed in mid-March but then signed a minor-league contract and surprisingly made the Opening Day roster.

Johnson said today he'll likely start Nady in right field against left-handed pitchers, with Werth sliding over to center field. That's a departure from his originally stated plan to use Carroll in that platoon role.

10 comments:

MicheleS said...

OY! this stinks

Rich said...

I find the doctor visit worrisome...

Section 3, My PFB Sofa said...

I'd be more worried if he's struck out three times and took a dubious walk. He's getting followup treatment from the recommended guy. I'll buy that until something else comes out, like, discomfort while throwing ... oh, wait. Dang.

Jim Kurtzke said...

I look toward to the regular line-up for the home series next week

Cwj said...

Heard on the radio that this was a scheduled treatment.
NOT a setback.

natsfan1a said...

I'm inclined towards the "oy/dang" frame of mind.

sm13 said...

interesting to think about who will lose their roster spot once Morse & Rick return. Davey's comment on Nady starting against lefties makes me think that Carroll could be the first one gone. I don't think they can cut Lombo loose, as they really have another middle infield option as a back up. Unless he shows Davey why he should stay, I think Roger's time as a Nat may be up. With no options left, the odds are that another team will see his raw talent and l claim him off waivers.

Anonymous said...

My guess is its Carroll and Tracy ... Bernadina is hitting and he can field. Morse can back up at first base. Carroll really hasn't shown he can hit and Tracy was on the bubble, got lucky due to the injuries. Bernadina has a leg up in that he is a part of the organization developed internally from the beginning going back to the Expos. Johnson tends to favor players who have worked hard within to get to the majors.

Of course there's always the trade possibilities ... but I don't see anything until later in the season at this point.

SonnyG10 said...

I'm content to stay on the sidelines with this one. I don't envy Davey's or Mike's decision making.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Anthony Rendon was injured in today's game with Potomac in West Virginia rounding third base. He does have two bad ankles. Hope he isn't going to be another Nick "the Stick" Johnson ...

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