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Michael Morse scratched from Nationals lineup with lat strain

Mar 6, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

Michael Morse Reuters

Michael Morse was a last-minute scratch from the Nationals’ lineup today with a strained lat muscle.

He’s listed as day-to-day for now, but lat strains tend to linger.

Bryce Harper replaced Morse in the lineup today, but presumably the Nationals wouldn’t let the injury impact Harper’s timetable unless Morse was sidelined for an extended period.

Morse has somewhat quietly been one of the league’s best hitters since 2010, batting .298 with 46 homers, 48 doubles, and an .896 OPS in 244 games. He signed a two-year, $10.5 million deal in January that gives the Nationals cost control over his final two arbitration-eligible seasons.

  1. hasbeen5 - Mar 6, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    It hasn’t really happened with the Braves, so I’m curious. Do fans of teams that do the service clock stuff like it, so they have the player longer? Or would they rather see him ASAP?

    • someguyinva - Mar 6, 2012 at 3:13 PM

      I can only speak for myself as a Nats fan, but this team still feels a year away from really contending, what with Strasburg’s innings limit, no real answer in CF, no leadoff hitter, etc. Add that to the fact that Harper’s still only 19, and has never played above AA (where he was only okay last year), and I’m fine with trading a couple months of him now for another year of him at 25.

      The 2012 Nats, I think, will be another example of the “You win before you get good” adage.

      • hasbeen5 - Mar 6, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        That’s how I think I would feel too. He’ll most likely be better at 25 than he is now, so I’d rather have a year of his skills then than now. But it must be hard to see guys like him, not just Harper, play in the minors with the huge investment already made. In this case it makes sense. When the Giants kept Posey down a couple years ago, not so much.

      • natstowngreg - Mar 6, 2012 at 7:04 PM

        Agreed. 2011 was about getting to .500, and they barely missed. 2012 is about continuing the improvement, and getting over .500. Considering how much bad baseball we Nats fans have endured since the team’s arrival, getting over .500 would be a good result indeed.

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