The Nationals will place cleanup hitter Michael Morse on “total shutdown mode” for six weeks, General Manager Mike Rizzo said, leaving an offense in need of punch without its best slugger for perhaps the entire first half of the season.
Morse re-aggravated the right lat muscle he first strained March 6 on Monday night during a rehab appearance with Class A Hagerstown. The Nationals had expected Morse to make his season debut today in their home opener. Instead, they are left to wait on a hitter who crunched 31 home runs and hit .303 last year before a two-year, $10 million contract extension.
“We tried to ramp him up, get him ready as quickly as we could, because he’s a big piece of our lineup,” Rizzo said. “He just re-aggravated it. So now we’re going to have to be ultra cautious to make sure that he’s right for the majority of the season.”
The Nationals have “no viable surgical option” for Morse, Rizzo said, and so Morse will only rest. The Nationals have not placed a timetable on how quickly Morse could prepare for the season following his six weeks on the sidelines. It seems a conservative estimate that Morse will miss the season’s first 50 games.
Posted: April 12, 2012 at 01:00 PM | 17 comment(s)
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