Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Morse, Lidge targeting early-June return

PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Morse is already rehabbing at the Nationals' extended spring training complex in Viera, Fla. and is set to begin playing in games Friday. Brad Lidge will join his teammate there tomorrow as each injured player seeks to rejoin the active roster in early-June.

Morse, out since Opening Day with a torn right lat muscle, will begin playing in games in Viera on Friday, according to manager Davey Johnson. The left fielder expects to appear in three games in Florida over the weekend, then go on a rehab assignment with one of the Nationals' minor-league affiliates next week.

Johnson said Morse will come off the disabled list no later than June 8, when the Nationals open an interleague series in Boston.

"That for sure," the manager said. "There's some people thinking it might be accelerated ahead of that. But we'll wait and see. We'll wait and see how he comes out of Friday's game."

The only question all along with Morse has been his ability to throw; the injury doesn't affect his swing at all. Thus, the team will be most interested to see how he handles playing in the field and will determine his eventual return date based on that progress.

"In Morse's mind, he's ready tomorrow as soon as he plays in one game," Johnson said. "But his throwing is what aggravated his arm. I'm not too much worried about his hitting, because he's always thinking about hitting. He's been hitting on the sly, probably throughout this whole thing. I'm more worried about him throwing, that it could aggravate it."

Lidge, meanwhile, threw off a bullpen mound at Citizens Bank Park this afternoon, the first time he's done that since having hernia surgery three weeks ago.

The veteran reliever will fly to Viera tomorrow and ramp up his rehab until he's ready to appear in minor-league games. Assuming all goes well, he's targeting June 12 or 13 to come off the DL.

"I've been pretty pleased with how fast my arm strength has come back," Lidge said. "I was able to do some real easy stuff to keep my arm loose. To take two weeks off, it can be pretty tough. But really we were able to do a few things to keep it loose, and it's come back real fast."

Injured closer Drew Storen also is in Viera at the moment, though he's not as far along in his recovery from elbow surgery as Lidge is in his recovery from hernia surgery. Storen is playing catch every other day and continues to target early-July for his return from the DL.


JaneB said...

We are SO ready for some gorse hacking! Rehab fast. Michael!

phil dunton said...

I suspect Lidge is washed up so he's probably not much of an upgrade over H-Rod.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Johnson on Morse: "He's been hitting on the sly, probably throughout this whole thing."
So he's been sneaking around from commercial batting cage to commercial batting cage throughout the DC area? Or using the Nats' cages while wearing a disguise?

Gonat said...

Lidge most likely takes Perry's place. Its when Mattheus is ready to come back that this bullpen gets interesting and then early July when Storen comes back.


Gorzo L
Wang R
HRod R
Perry R
Burnett L
Stammen R
Clippard R

When Mattheus comes back:

Gorzo L
Wang/Detwiler R\L
HRod R
Mattheus R
Burnett L
Stammen R
Clippard R

Who leaves when Storen is ready to return?

My guess is Mattheus who has options.

Gonat said...

On Morse, we still know nothing about him really throwing a baseball. I read he was doing soft toss. When does he start stretching that out to 100 to 150 feet?

UnkyD said...

"He's been hitting on the sly..." Priceless!

There are so many smiles, in reading about this team, every day....

SFNats said...

Yes, please!

Holden Baroque said...

The first-thing to do is admit I have a problem

Section 222 said...

Gonat -- What about Wang?

peric said...

Who leaves when Storen is ready to return?

My guess is Mattheus who has options.

At that point Wang, Jackson are both tradable. Plus Detwiler is also a possibility I suppose. But they aren't going to make a deal for a close to the end of the line veteran ... not unless they get really desperate due to injuries.

Expect a trade to occur. Most especially because draft picks will be signed quicker and placed into the system during this season. What they can't acquire in the draft, the might be able to acquire through a propitious trade.

Remember, its all about winning and player development. One cannot exclude the other.

Holden Baroque said...

On Morse, we still know nothing about him really throwing a baseball. I read he was doing soft toss. When does he start stretching that out to 100 to 150 feet?

Wait, was he tossing softly, or hitting soft toss?

Anonymous said...

If Morse comes back for the Boston series he can DH for 6 games (there and Toronto.)

m20832 said...

Come back soon Beast Mode!

Adam said...

If in a pitch I think they send Mattheus down because of the options. I wouldn't expect a trade unless they get a very nice offer. The sad fact is that most likely they'll be some other injury amongst at least one of these pitchers before July when Storen returns. And for my money, I wouldn't be shocked if H-Rod comes down with "shoulder fatigue" or something of that ilk to give him a month or so to re-center himself and make a run through the minors.

Doc said...

I'm trying to picture Morse, 'on the sly' in disguise. Mrs. Doubtfire, Tootsie, Frenchie LaMorse, Pirate Captain Morganish, President Teddy....???

Kevin said...

Mike Morse is a Moose. I hope he starts hitting balls to Baltimore. Nats need his crushing power.

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