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Davey: No Morse at 1B this spring

Mar 4, 2012, 3:41 PM EST

Associated Press photo
Michael Morse tracks down a fly ball during a workout last week.

VIERA, Fla. — Though Adam LaRoche won't make his first game appearance until Wednesday and will continue to be monitored closely for the next few weeks, the Nationals don't have any plans to give Michael Morse playing time at first base this spring.

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 fromRead more »

  1. Kirbs - Mar 4, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    I'm good with this, bc davey is right. This is a very, very short outfield.

  2. DJ - Mar 4, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Zuck, love your site and your writing, but why do you continue to think LaRoche is going to be 100%? He hasn't been in camp and I have my doubts.Also I know you stuck up for the Lerners when it comes to payroll, but the Nats could've used another OF bat. Bad move that's going to come back to haunt them.Once again you do a great job covering the team, best beat writer.

  3. Anonymous - Mar 4, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Kirbs,Werth – 6' 5"Morse – 6' 5"Ankiel – 6' 2"Bernadina – 6' 2"Harper – 6' 3" and reportedly still growingI wouldn't call that short.

  4. HHover - Mar 4, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    I get this if the point is that Morse needs practice in the OF more than he needs it at 1B.But the idea that the Nats have a "bunch of guys" lined up at 1B seems pretty dubious. LaRoche is a question mark, as is DeRosa, and Marrero isn't expected to return before July.

  5. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    DJ: Appreciate the kind words. Just so you know: I'm not saying I believe LaRoche is going to be 100 percent. I'm saying the Nationals believe he's going to be 100 percent.

  6. sjm308 - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    DJ: why do you think this is Mark. As I read this article, I hear Davey loud and clear. There are quote marks as well which means its Davey's voice. Where do you see any thoughts from Mark in this article saying LaRoche is 100%?I was not 100% behind Davey when he took over but I have to say, I am in the tank now. He takes charge, makes statements that give you no room to read between the lines and you know what you are getting. It will have to help Morse knowing he can concentrate on one position and one position only.Is LaRoche 100%? Probably not. What I am seeing though is an outfield of Morse, Werth and Harper sooner rather than later with DeRosa playing more firstbase then we thought earlier. Are we all hoping that LaRoche can bounce back? I hope that is the desires of nats fans and is certainly mine. Go Nats!

  7. Grandstander - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    I've got a couple bucks in my pocket that say ALR opens the season on the DL.

  8. baseball fan - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    The major problem with the nats is bats with below league average and lack of run support. They need another hitter to be a serious club.

  9. baseball fan - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    The major problem with the nats is bats with below league average and lack of run support. They need another hitter to be a serious club.

  10. baseball fan - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    The major problem with the nats is bats with below league average and lack of run support. They need another hitter to be a serious club.

  11. baseball fan - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    The major problem with the nats is bats with below league average and lack of run support. They need another hitter to be a serious club.

  12. sjm308 - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Anon:I was in the gym talking the other day about the "size" of our team. I realize its not MMA or football but we have some big guys! Besides the outfielders you listed, Zimm and LaRoca are at least 6'1" and while Ramos is not tall, I would not wish to run into him at home plate. I remember when I was coaching at Maryland and the Orioles came in to play an exhibition game with the Terps. If there were no uniforms, you could easily pick out the pros. There are lots of reasons people make it to the next level but one thing that certainly helps is good size. There are of course, exceptions, but look at most rosters and you will see more people over 6" then under.

  13. Anonymous - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    1 more time baseball fan..dont think we saw it

  14. Mick - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    We have to hit period, we could lose a lot of 2-1 even 1-0 games if we do not.We will know in about a month if our hitting has improved or if 2012 is fools gold

  15. joemktg - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Has Bo Porter left his footballs home?

  16. Sunderland - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    I think there's a way better chance LaRoche will be fine than there is that his shoulder has a real negative impact on his season. I'm no more worried about ALR than about Espinosa, Ramos, Morse, etc, which is to say – not very much.Wonder what Marrero is doing these days?

  17. Big Cat - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Judging from the 40 man roster, it looks like Lombordozza at utility. He seesm to be the only one that could handle the middle inf spots. Don't know about Rivero, but he is listed as a 3B

  18. Positively Half St. - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Sunderland-At this point in his recovery, I bet Marrero is at AA1/2, well on his way to working back to his full AAAA.I hope I am wrong on that, but I doubt I am.+1/2St.

  19. Kirbs - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Lol, can't argue with that.

  20. Sunderland - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Big Cat, I think you're right about Lombardozzi. DeRosa has not spent any time of significance in the middle infield since 2007. Two guys in camp as non-roster invitees who could play middle infield are Jarrett Hoffpauir and Andres Blanco. Blanco could be a dark horse, he had some pretty productive times in Texas, and would be a better glove than Hoffpauir. In some ways I'd rather Lombardozzi goes to AAA and plays and bats lead off every day. But maybe they could just do the same with Blanco?

  21. NatsLady - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    ok, I'm a little confused. says the game will be on a tape-delay. What about on MASN? This will be the first test of whether my gym can find the Nats on TV as they promised when I renewed membership!!!

  22. NatsBrat - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    @Anon. 10:57Not only are we not short in LF, but you can't call ALR at 1B Shirley!

  23. SCNatsFan - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    With Lombardozzi the argument is if it is better for him to play every day at AAA or ride the pine here; I vote for him to be sent down. If Espi or Desi get hurt then he jumps past the backup to play every day but I don't see the sense on having him watch every day, assuming we have someone decent to be the backup. Even if that player isn't here one might be released as preseason progresses.

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    NatsLady….. I set my DVR to record the game on MASN @ 1:30 on Directv. My guide says its on.The MLB broadcast is tape delay.

  25. DWS - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    According to Nats site live @1:05 PMI'll be watching.

  26. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    I meant 1:05.

  27. DWS - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    I also meant MLB TV.

  28. SonnyG10 - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    NatsLady, Verizon FIOS has it on MASN at 1:05pm and a replay at 5:30 PM

  29. NatsFanJim - Mar 4, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Prediction: Sometime during the long season, Morse will be back as the full time first baseman — unless Rendon doesnt get there first.Prediction 2 (too obvious): Desmond will not be the Nationals SS by the All-Star Break (if not Memorial Day).





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