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Minus Morse, where will runs come from?

Apr 11, 2012, 4:38 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Michael Morse's rehab stint has been put on hold indefinitely.

In a week filled with discouraging injury news (see: Rendon, Anthony; and Storen, Drew) the latest update on Michael Morse is the harshest punch to the gut yet.

Just when it appeared Morse would be ready to rejoin the Nationals in time for Thursday's home opener, this not-so-pleasant update was provided: The club's cleanup hitter will remain out indefinitely after experiencing continued pain in his right lat muscle, pain so significant it prevented him from being able to throw a baseball from left field to the shortstop position during Monday's rehab game at low-Class A Hagerstown.

There's no way to sugarcoat this setback, and manager Davey Johnson didn't even attempt to in revealing the news.

"I didn't think it was even that serious," Johnson told reporters at Citi Field prior to Tuesday's game against the Mets. "I was kind of lookingRead more »

  1. DL in VA - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:28 AM

    Bryce Harper?

  2. Erik - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:42 AM

    Would really love to see the Nats take a chance on Damon. I know he is not the greatest fielder anymore, but definitely think he could handle LF 3-4 times per week until Morse is healthy. DH him during interleague games and make him a 4th OF when/if Morse and Harper are in the lineup. Also would be a great pinch hitter from the left side. Nobody seems to be knocking down his door right now, and perusing the depth charts around the MLB, doesn't appear to be many great fits out there for him, so maybe he would come to the NL. He obviously wants to play for a team with a shot, so that eliminates about 10-12 teams right there. He is a very versatile player, good leader and seems to still be in great shape…at least from the photo on his website. Definitely worth the risk if we can get him to Washington. http://johnnydamon.com/

  3. D'Gourds - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:01 AM

    In Morse's absence, Damon really is a pretty good idea Erik. Great lead off hitter too. He's not a bad fielder–just a bad thrower. But from LF, we can handle that with a strong armed SS named Desmond! Did you see that throw he made to gun out Gee from the hole–it almost didn't look humanly possible!

  4. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    Morse is irreplaceable. The OF has not produced a single home run, thus far – not even close. Harper is not ready. Brown is solid but does not have the Beast's power (who does?). The Shark is what he is, and Ankiel's return will help the power numbers, but only marginally.Last year, it was ALR and the FOF who were out much of the year, and they still played .500 baseball. Davey will have to do it with pitching and defense, again. Of all things, the top of the order has been producing above expectations. Get a competent medical opinion and fix the guy, already. He's being paid $5 mn, so it might be worth the time, effort, and money, to invest in his treatment and recovery. How is it that so-called minor injuries turn into prolonged medical problems so often with the Nats? Looks like Morse is a candidate to become this year's Jesus Flores, or Adam LaRoche, or Ryan Zimmerman. Remember Shawn Hill? It's not as if this has not happened before.Laddie_Blah_Blah

  5. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    Mostly, I'm concerned about the Nationals medical staff's ability to diagnose any sort of injury.Morse- first, his lat strain is only minor and won't prevent him from playing, then he'll be ready by Opening Day, then he'll go to the DL for a short time, and now he's out indefinitely. That doesn't instill any confidence in their ability. Do they even know what the problem is? If the lat has totally healed, then what is causing the pain?LaRoche – first it was only a slight sprain to his ankle. Then, he missed three weeks. (And I'm not even going to mention the debacle that happened last season with LaRoche).Storen- first it was slight discomfort, then it's Spring Training dead arm. Now, they really just have no idea. At least they've acknowledged that they're totally out of their league, and outsourced their job to a real professional.And those are just the injuries over the past month!That doesn't even mention Ankiel (can we be sure he's actually healthy?), Sammy Solis (misdiagnosed his elbow injury, setting him back half a year)… I'm sure I'm forgetting many others.I'm not expecting them to magically stop injuries from occurring, but the least they need to do is accurately identify the problem and suggest practical solutions to heal the injury. As it stands now, their approach is:1. Ask where it hurts.2. Wait two weeks.3. Ask if it still hurts.4. Take medical precautions (MRI, etc).5. Look confusedly at results; wildly speculate.6. Wait a month or longer.7. Ask if it still hurts.8. Seek advice of professionals (see: LaRoche last season, Storen and Solis).It looks like we've reached stage 6 with Morse.

  6. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    With almost no offensive production coming from left field which is a premium corner position, this really hurts in ome ways than one.Might be time to see what Lombo or Corey Brown can do.

  7. Cwj - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Sounds like the Nats did just fine last night :-)They still have 20+ homer potential from several players: Espinosa, Werth, LaRoche and Zimmerman. As well as 15+ HR potential from Ramos and Desmond.So I've come to terms with Morse being out.Still sucks though.The organization is not responsible for these injuries. How could they be? The players do a good job of injuring themselves I think.

  8. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    1. Lombo has one position and one position only…and even then he gets replaced for defense by Espinosa. Left Field? Never.2. Johnny Damon? Please… those days are over. If a hometown team like Tampa Bay won't sign him with their anemic offense, why would we?3. Morse IS replaceable. A healthy Zimmerman and LaRoche and a rejuvenated Werth can make up make up the difference until Harper makes the Show.

  9. Cwj - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    So, for those who know, Corey Brown is hitting well in the minors? Is he still considered a prospect? Does he have power?Thanks in advance! :-)

  10. baseballswami - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    So maybe the homeruns can come from the infield this year. I don't really care about those little "rules". The guys stepped up last night – the pitchers keep it under control, some timely hitting from anybody and you can stay in business.

  11. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    NatsJack in Florida said… 1. Lombo has one position and one position only…and even then he gets replaced for defense by Espinosa. Left Field? Never.2. Johnny Damon? Please… those days are over. If a hometown team like Tampa Bay won't sign him with their anemic offense, why would we?3. Morse IS replaceable. A healthy Zimmerman and LaRoche and a rejuvenated Werth can make up make up the difference until Harper makes the Show. April 11, 2012 5:59 AM________________________________Never? Where do you think Lombo played 2 days ago—Left Field. They are getting almost no offense out of LF starters (1 hit so far in 5 games) and even the defense from LF hasn't been great.

  12. Positively Half St. - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    I hope that Rick Ankiel can keep the momentum he has in the minors going when he comes back within a week. If he has a good offensive year, then the team can survive a little longer without Morse. We need the Beast; it's just amatter of trying to keep a winning record until he returns.+1/2St.

  13. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    NatsJack, actually Lombardozzi 1st 2 games this season he played Left Field. The 2nd game in Chicago and Monday against the Mets.His first start was yesterday against the Mets and he played 2nd base.Obviously 2nd base is his primary position and clearly with Morse now out for a while this situation will cause Davey and Rizzo to rethink who can give them some offense in LF. I agree that its not time to panic as Ankiel is coming back and if Bernadina can get on track with the bat he can slide over to LF. At least with that configuration you have the best defensive outfield that Davey can put together.

  14. Manassas Nats Fan - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    The nedical staff does seem to the weak link on the team, they seem to never see these things in the ingancy. I have learned never tro trust what is said, because rarely is that ever proven correct.

  15. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    When Morse took that scheduled day off to see his blood guru in NY it was a sign that he wasn't feeling better.Nobody feels worse than Morse himself. Its strange when they said the small tear healed. You have to wonder what the Nats orthopedic doc is saying on this.

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    I know where Davey played Lombo. It's just that he will not be given the opportunity to be a "regular" platoon guy with OJT at the ML level. His play anywhere except 2b is extremely suspect.The response was more towards the everday left fielder issue with Morse being out.

  17. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    NatsJack, you of all people should know to expect the unexpected from Davey.When Ank comes back, someone better have laid claim to LF. DeRosa? Bernadina? Nady? Carroll? Lombo?As Werth showed yesterday, 5 games into the season a 4 for 5 night can make your stats look respectable.Espinosa, Bernadina, and DeRosa need to start grinding.

  18. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    morse throws with an inverted w,its not suprising hes hurt…jk

  19. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Gonat…. that's precisely why I know Lombardozzi will only see left field on a very limited late inning basis.There are too many other options. And Anliel is ready to return by Fiday or Saturday.

  20. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    ankiel in center, sharkadina in left, and let's hope we see a lot of right-handed pitchers.At this point, I wouldn't trust my gerbil to the Nats quack medical staff. Where did these guys go for medical training, Pep Boys?

  21. Gonat - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    NatsJack, I agree with that. I liked the fact Davey sat Espi and DeRosa last night and Lombo got the start. I've just learned that Davey is full of surprises.Davey just has to find a hot hand and Lombo is hitting better than DeRosa and Nady right now. When Ankiel comes back, Bernadina probably moves to LF against RH pitching.This afternoon will be interesting with Johan being a lefty and coming off of his great outing opening day. The good news is Johan is on a set pitch count. Does Brett Carroll get the start in CF with DeRosa in LF or does DeRosa play 1st and Lombo in LF? Can't wait to see what Davey has up his sleeve today!

  22. The Great Unwashed - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Let me be the first in this thread to say good for Werth for his performance last night. I've been critical of him many times but when he does something right he should get credit. As Mark said, if he can be part of a group of players who carry the team, we'll be okay.I like the Damon idea. I know he's got a weak arm but the Nats need power from the outfield. I think DeRosa will start hitting but he won't be able to carry the load alone.

  23. Anonymous8 - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    As far as I know, this is still accurate on the head of orthopaedics for the Nats:http://www.sportsmd.com/DoctorDetail/id/956/ai/+/sp/+/state/district+of+columbia/n/wiemi__douoguih.aspx

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    This is my bad day for work. I actually have to attend a meeting at 1:30 today that usually lasts 2 1/2 hours soooo… I'll be that guy in the commercial constantly looking down at his android phone periodically (hopefully) mumbling "yes" alot.

  25. The Great Unwashed - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Good for Werth for his performance last night. I've been critical of him many times, but I'll also acknowledge it when he deserves credit. I like that he's hitting 5th (I'd even put him 6th) because there's less pressure in that spot and if he can get comfortable his numbers will improve.I also like the Damon idea. I know he has a weak arm but he can still hit, especially in the NL, and the Nats need power from the outfield in the worst way. I think DeRosa will come out of his slump eventually but he can't be expected to carry the load. And just like Carpenter said about Flores' two hits the other night pushing Ramos, a little competition can't hurt.

  26. Joe Seamhead - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    I've only seen a little of Lombo in the outfield, but honestly I'd rather see Brown, or Perez out there. Steve looks lost out there. Nady doesn't impress me out there either. I agree with others in that for the time being the primary OF will be Werth, Ankiel, and Bernadina, as at least defensively that is our best combination.

  27. The Great Unwashed - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Make that, the Nats need production from the outfield in the worst way. A little power couldn't hurt either.

  28. UnkyD - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    Rats!! MLB.com's highlight pkg for last nights game did NOT include Desi's leaping throw! Anybody got a link where I can see it?

  29. Constant Reader - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Do you guys read into the coverage of Morse that he'd be in the bigs playing everyday if we had a DH? And, no, I am not asking this to start a thread about trading him to an AL. I just find it odd that he is able to swing violently at the plate but he has an injury so severe he can't make a short through from the outfield.

  30. UNTERP - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    I don't want to say anything good about Werth because I think it will jinx him, so a plague on his house…

  31. Marty - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Well this is easy. Sign Pudge as a back-up catcher and put Flores out in LF. Duh. :)

  32. The Great Unwashed - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    UNTERP, that's one of the funniest things I've seen on here in a long time! But seriously, we're stuck with Werth for a long time so we might as well make the best of it.

  33. UNTERP - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Marty said… Well this is easy. Sign Pudge as a back-up catcher and put Flores out in LF. Duh. :)You know, not a bad idea…

  34. Scott from Burke - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Calling Mr. Harper!

  35. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Desi with the Capitol One play of the day on MLB!!!!

  36. Rabbit - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    It would be nice to have Morse back, but I think we'll be ok without him. Hopefully, to quote Mark, last night for my Werthless Werth, wasn't.."a flash in the pan, one nice night amidst a string of called third strikes and weak flyballs to right field." A good strong year this year will set us up nicely for 2013. GO NATIONALS!!!

  37. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    jake peavy tore his lat a few years ago,i wonder if its the same type issue with morse

  38. Joe Seamhead - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Rabbit, I'm still of the mindset that we are for real now. GYFNG!!!

  39. Diz - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    I honestly think that this injury is probably a major one: Rotator, Labrum, Torn Lat…..etc. and could be year ending. Not a doctor, just slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I don't know what his WAR was last year in left, but it's got to be at least 10 games higher than what we are getting out of there so far. What?! 1 hit in 5 games?Maybe we see Goodwin, but I would bet Harper is up in late April. Get the extra year, but grant him Super 2, if the news is year ending for MM.But without MM, I fear the discussion of playoffs in 2012 is falling off the table.Just my "Glass is half empty" take on things.

  40. Diz - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Sorry, not Goodwin, Corey Brown.

  41. blovy8 - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Well, now they get to put more lefties in the lineup. Lefties that can't really hit, but still. There will be no excuses left for Bernadina. So when Ankle's ready, Carroll goes? That guy is barely playing.

  42. sjm308 - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    We will miss Morse but do remember that in April he was benched for his poor hitting.

  43. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    I really like NatsJack but today he is off his game. Lombo can play LF and Damon is a possibility and anyone else that can hit the darn ball. I expect DeRosa back in LF today. Time to step up in your hometown Mark D!

  44. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Diz, no need to worry about Goodwin anyway. He's joined Rendon on the very crowded minor league DL with a severely swollen ankle.

  45. Joe Seamhead - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    sjm308, before Davey, Morse was benched when he had 2 or 3 hits in a game.

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    When Lombardozzi is the playing anything other than 2b on a regular basis and Damon is on the 25 man, then I'll be off my game. Anybody else see that happening?

  47. Diz - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    sjm,We also had Nix who lit it up in the spring.We have nothing comparable right now on this team.LF is a gaping hole in the offense right now.

  48. alexva - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    A Bernadina-Nady/DeRosa platoon in left field can be good enough to hold their own until Morse is ready. Ankiel goes back to center until June when young Bryce arrives on his white horse. They will miss Morse without a doubt but with the pitching staff they have in place there is still a good probability for success.

  49. MicheleS - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Does anyone have any idea why we haven't seen Carroll play the field? I thought he had a good arm, is it the lack of hitting? Because he couldn't be any worse than what we have right now.

  50. Joe Seamhead - Apr 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    NatsJack, I agree that Lombo is a 2nd baseman, but Davey has said he wants to move him around to get as many AB's as possible. To me is only OF should be late in games when we have a big lead. As to Damon, it's time for Jonny to spend his afternoons playing golf and come home and watch the game on TV. We have better alternatives.

  51. m20832 - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… sjm308, before Davey, Morse was benched when he had 2 or 3 hits in a game.True that,,,Riggles old double switcheroo….

  52. MicheleS - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    I have a nomination for best post from last night:Joe Seamhead said… Can't resist: It's been Werthwhile watching the game tonight. And to the Anon for calling for a moratorium on using the werthless comment. Had to stop posting last night because I got tired of some of the constant nit picking on everything. I enjoyed the game more when I wasn't reading all that dreck.

  53. Theophilus - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    A small thing, but people are forgetting someone has to go when Ankiel arrives. DeRosa stays; Tracy has been "guaranteed" a spot by Johnson; that makes the choice between Carroll, Nady, Bernadina and Lombardozzi. Nady, I think, gets kept at least until Nats have a better sense how long Morse will be out. So the final pairing is probably between Carroll and Lombardozzi. My bet is they keep Carroll because he's the potential RH CF platoon guy, leaving Lombardozzi squeezed into the turboprop to Syracuse. That's how much chance I think Lombardozzi has of playing regularly in LF. Eventually he may get called up if DeRosa continues to fizzle, Carroll can't hit, Nady shows no pop w/ the bat, etc. But last night's flare hit, HBP don't make him an integral part of Johnson's Goon Squad, at least just yet.All of the above applies to the chances of Brown or Perez being called up. Ain't happening unless two OFs get injured in a golf cart accident on an off day.

  54. SFNats - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    If you take out the first game when the wind at Wrigley was blowing everything down, the Nats are averaging just over 5 runs per game. Just sayin'.

  55. natsfan1a - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    Was offline during yesterday's game, which I did watch. Actually managed to stay awake for the whole thing, unlike the night before. Well, for most of it. (Note to self: get to work on patenting and developing the soft head-restraint system for tv watching by the senior demographic.) Was great to see Werth hitting, Desi making an awesome play, and more. I even read the in-game comment thread this a.m. (which I probably wouldn't have if they'd lost again, because, dang, it can get kinda dark in there). On the high cheese thing, my fave source for baseball lingo is Dickson's baseball dictionary. Love that book, and always have it by my side while listening to or watching a game, in case a new (to me) term pops up. btw, was nice to see kgwcoach pop in with a post, too. Oh, and I got a Beltway Baseball question in. Yay! :-)LOL at your meeting scenario, NJ. It could work. Eh, what the heck. A plague on *both* his houses. :-) (On a related note, I'm with NatsNut and others on the derisive nickname.)UNTERP said… I don't want to say anything good about Werth because I think it will jinx him, so a plague on his house… April 11, 2012 7:54 AM

  56. natsfan1a - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Baseball dictionary link.

  57. natsfan1a - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    On topic, was bummed to hear the news about Morse and hope that others can step up their games in his absence.

  58. Tcostant - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I think next time we see Morse will be during road interleague play games. That is May! I agree that either the medical staff is bad or the Nationals just hold things back, until the very last minute. I’m guessing the latter.

  59. blovy8 - Apr 11, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Or that Morse is actually hurt more than is shown by normal tests, and it isn't the medical staff's fault at all.

  60. natsfan1a - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Attention techno trailblazers. I just stumbled across this piece on how to watch baseball via digital devices. It's a Macworld article, but appears to deal with other operating systems and devices as well.

  61. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    If only we had a highly touted outfielder in AAA that could be called up…

  62. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Unless you have a degree in sports medicine or orthopedics you are really in no position to make comments about the Nats medical staff. You are just being silly. Where I agree with the posters is in the fact that the Nats aren't good at establishing expectations for a return from injury and players are typically injured more seriously than is reported. The Nats aren't the only ones in this category; the Mets are notorious in under reporting injury seriousness; day to day routinely becomes lost years by Mets players.

  63. jd - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    A Morse long term absence is devastating and there is no way to recover the lost productivity. The more I see players like Bernadina the more I realize we need someone better. DeRosa and Nady as well as Carrol and Tracy were brought in as bench players and the longer they hold regular spots the worse it is for the team. I very much hope that the Nats don't let this misfortune interfere with their long term plans for Harper; he should come up when he is ready and not because of injuries to others. This one is too valuable to screw up. Corrie Brown might be an interesting option but I would like to see if he can maintain his production for at least a month before I go that route.

  64. JaneB - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    My husband saw Morse at the DCA airport Saturday on the way to New York, presumably to see the doctor. I was thinking we would ALL see him on the field Thursday.He will be hard to replace, for sure. He was a key to last year's improvement. But our infield is going to produce pretty well. Werth could be onto a roll, after last night. Ank is hitting well these days and one day, maybe soon, Bryce will feel and BE hitterish in our park. Remember how these guys dug down and kept grinding it out last year, even without ALR and Zimm? Most of those guys are still with us. We will hear that submarine horn blow more this year than last. I will be THRILLED when they figure out what ails Michael and get him back to us. I'm a little less certain that we will be in the hunt for that (insert the "w" word here) without Morse. But only a LITTLE.Today's game is gonna be one they talk about for a while, these two guys facing each other. That's where I'm looking now.

  65. UNTERP - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    jd said… A Morse long term absence is devastating and there is no way to recover the lost productivity.All I can say is, you are right. However, Morse didn't show up until mid-May last season and the team was without, basically, Werth, Zimmerman, and Roche. Therefore, yes, they will miss Morse obviously, but they've added 2 maybe three players they didn't have last season and that's a net gain. I know this is cliche, but injuries are a reality not an excuse. Until Morse returns the Nats will have to bash without him, and though they are not deep per se with heavy hitters, they are still better off this season and have more potential even without Morse…

  66. sjm308 - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Agree with JD on comments about medical/training staff, and I have a degree in Biomechanical Analysis and a Masters in Kinesiology/Physiology of Exercise. Unless you are actually involved with the athlete, its unfair to comment. Won't stop people though, its what is done here.What puzzles me is how he can swing with no pain but can't throw. I just can't wrap my old brain around that situation, if it is indeed the latisimus dorsi muscle.Not going to nitpick about Morse but I think the double switches came the year before when he actually had two homeruns and then was double switched out by the old quitter. I think last year he was hitting about .143 or something before Riggs jumped on getting that veteran influence into the lineup. It actually worked out well as Nix was super, LaRoche went on the DL and Morse immerged as our super star for the year.On a totally different track. Is it normal for a team to start the year with 4 new starters from the year before? It just hit me that JZimmnn is the only one left from last April. I would love to have Morse but "if" Zimm & LaRoche continue to excell, our middle infielders make the plays I have seen so far and our pitching reaches its potential, we can miss Morse for however long it takes. My vote is to not rush Harper, make sure he has shown he can handle AAA but I would think long and hard about bringing up Brown if he continues to excell.

  67. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    This situation must just be killing Morse. After all those years of anonymity he finally makes it, big. This should have been his time to shine. And the team would almost certainly have scored more with Zim fully healthy and ALR returning to form (we hope).The gaggle of LFs put out there by Davey – DeRosa, Lombo, Shark, Nady – will not come close to threatening Morse's 31 dingers, 95 RBI, and .303 BA from last year. Corey Brown is performing better than any of them, and better than Harper, in AAA. Why have organizational depth if you do not use it? Carroll could probably clear waivers, or Lombo could be sent back down, to make room for a bona fide LF. Brown cannot match Morse's power, but he is much better defensively, can draw walks and steal bases. He has higher BA, SLG, OBP, and OPS stats than Harper, with more walks, fewer Ks, and more SBs, playing on the same team against the same pitchers and defenses.If they really want to go with the younger guys, he is the logical choice over DeRosa, Carroll, Bernie, or Nady in LF. They already have a guy better than any of them. Time to see if he can cut it in the bigs, or not. What's to lose?Laddie_Blah_Blah

  68. UNTERP - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Laddie_Blah_Blah You're right, Rizzo needs to make a move…

  69. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Now I know why we wear those ugly RED (Cincinnati and Phillies) uniforms. They represent the RED CROSS! With the number of injuries we have every year they are appropriate.

  70. sjm308 - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    Laddie – I agree with you to a point (I want to see us go younger as well), but I think its going to be hard for Rizzo/Davey to make that move if we continue to win each series. If we come home 4-2 I think they stay put. How great is this pitching matchup today?? Can't wait.

  71. UNTERP - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    sjm308 said… You're right too. Everybody is right today…

  72. sjm308 - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Which makes today's matchup of SS(righty!) vs Santana (lefty) a mismatch for the good guysGo Nats!!

  73. bdrube - Apr 11, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    @sjm308 – "Is it normal for a team to start the year with 4 new starters from the year before?"For us, rotation turnover year-to-year is the norm:2005:Livan HernandezZach Day Esteban Loaiza Tomo Okha John Patterson2006 (3 new):Livan Hernandez John Patterson Tony Armas Ramon OrtizRyan Drese 2007 (4 new):John PattersonShawn Hill Matt ChicoJason Bergmann Jerome Williams2008 (3 new): Odalis Perez Tim Redding Jason Bergmann Matt ChicoJohn Lannan2009 (4 new):John LannanScott OlsenDaniel CabreraShairon MartisJordan Zimmermann2010 (4 new):John LannanJason MarquisGarret MockCraig StammenLivan Hernandez2011 (2 new):Livan HernandezJohn LannanJordan ZimmermannJason MarquisTom Gorzelanny2012 (4 new):Stephen StrasburgGio GonzalezJordan ZimmermannEdwin JacksonRoss Detwiler

  74. Diz - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Today's lineup is the perfect example of why we need MM. An outfield of Nady, Werth and DeRosa is pretty terrible. Figuring 30% (a guess) or more of starting pitching is left handed, trotting this out more than 3 times out of 10 is pretty horrific.

  75. whatsanattau - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Standing in LF and playing LF are two seperate things.

  76. whatsanattau - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Not that he's a great fielder, but the available outfielder that the Nat's could have for the asking is Bobby Abreu.

  77. nwells2 - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Well if Ian Desmond keeps hitting like he has these first five games, and reaching ESPN's top 10 for his defense, I'd say we have ourselves another bat and allstar shortstop.

  78. Anonymous - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Do we need a degree in baseball to be allowed to speculate on that too?

  79. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Natsochist,Hahaha. I think you mean Brett Carroll (who beat out Jason Michaels), not the frontman of Poison.And yes, it does seem as if Nady has taken all Carroll's playing time.

  80. Will - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Oops, wrong thread!

  81. natsfan1a - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Found something for you, Unkyd:http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20518359&c_id=mlbUnkyD said… Rats!! MLB.com's highlight pkg for last nights game did NOT include Desi's leaping throw! Anybody got a link where I can see it? April 11, 2012 7:51 AM

  82. Feel Wood - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Where I agree with the posters is in the fact that the Nats aren't good at establishing expectations for a return from injury and players are typically injured more seriously than is reported.Unlike the NFL, MLB teams are not required to issue injury reports prior to each game. All the team has to do is decide whether or not a player is placed on the DL. Indeed, they could just say "no comment" to any reporter's question about an injured player's progress if they wanted to. So if what they tell a reporter today does not match what happens tomorrow, that's not a failure to establish expectations. Anything they say about a player's injury progress is simply a favor to the reporters, not a case of the team withholding the truth or anything of the sort. It's the reporters who set the expectations, and they are about as far from the reality of the situation as you can get.The only member of the baseball media who has ever reported 100% accurately on an injury situation is Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, who once said "Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day (pause). Aren't we all?"

  83. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Do we need a degree in baseball to be allowed to speculate on that too? Nobody's stopping you.

  84. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    FeelWood addresses a good question that maybe doesn't get enough consideration: Is it the team's job to manage public expectations of players' injury status?

  85. David - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    If Morse is put on the 60 day DL does that open a spot on the 40 man? I forget how that works. What I'm thinking is that Corey Brown could be called up for the outfield to play either CF or LF depending on who else is in the outfield for us. As everyone knows, I'm fully on the Corey Brown bandwagon. Plus defense, power, speed, can draw walks, high OBP in the minors…

  86. David - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    OH I didn't see that was basically everyone elses idea as well. But my question still stands about the DL and 40/25 man lists…. Brown isnt even on the 40 man right now.

  87. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    David, to answer your question, yes, a player on the 60-day DL doesn't count against the 40, but in fact they are likely to want to find out what's wrong before they do something that drastic.

  88. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Plus, even if they knew for a fact Morse would miss two months, they might have to ask waivers on somebody to clear space when Morse was ready to come back, and you'd hate to lose Brown for nothing like that.

  89. NatsNut - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    I can't believe you said this, Mark. Everyone, PLEASE knock on wood, like, right now."There shouldn't be any reason to be worried about Zimmerman. He raked at the plate all spring and has reached base in five of his last nine plate appearances."

  90. rogieshan - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Damon would be a good, short-term answer because he is a patient hitter and knows how to work a pitcher, something sorely lacking in our lineup.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 69 4.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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