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Mike Morse making season debut as Nationals cleanup man after missing 50 games

Jun 1, 2012, 3:48 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies v Washington Nationals Getty Images

After missing the first 50 games with a strained lat muscle Mike Morse is off the disabled list and hitting cleanup for the Nationals tonight in his season debut.

During the past two-and-a-half seasons Morse quietly emerged as one of the NL’s best bats, hitting .295 with 49 homers and an .889 OPS in 276 total games after the Nationals acquired him from the Mariners for Ryan Langerhans in mid-2009.

In addition to cleaning up Morse is also playing right field, where he saw zero time last season. He does have 74 career starts there, 64 of which came in 2010 for the Nationals. Xavier Nady is in left field, with Bryce Harper starting in center field for the eighth time in his first 31 games.

  1. natstowngreg - Jun 1, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Good news. Morse’s return, not the potential rainout, of course.

    Adam Kilgore (posted before the move was made) on Morse’s impact on an offense that improved last month:

  2. marshmallowsnake - Jun 1, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    I always get suspicious when players miss 50 games to start a season with an injury… I know it is not steroid related, but what if the league was allowing suspensions to be handled this way. No one would ever figure it out.

    • rooney24 - Jun 1, 2012 at 6:58 PM

      I would find it unlikely that the league would throw some guys under the bus and then let others off with an “injury”. Even if they tried to do it in secret, someone would find out and it would leak out.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 1, 2012 at 8:59 PM

      Morse already had a drug suspension on his record, when he was a Mariners’ prospect. If he had another, it would be 100 games.

      • marshmallowsnake - Jun 4, 2012 at 12:20 PM

        Thank you! I did not know that. Like I said, I doubt it was steroids or something.

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