It hasn't been confirmed by anyone with the Washington Nationals, but it seems very likely that Michael Morse, 2011's big offensive weapon, will start the 2012 regular season on the disabled list.
Per Mark Zuckerman:
Morse, meanwhile, was scheduled to throw from 60 to 90 feet [Wednesday] in Viera, then receive a sonogram designed to check how much his strained lat muscle has healed. If that test produces positive results, Morse will be cleared to hit off a tee and slowly build himself back into game shape.
Johnson wouldn't go so far to say Morse will definitely start the season on the DL, but suggested there won't be enough time for him to get enough at-bats in time.
"He feels great," the manager said. "From talking to him, he's chomping. Now, whether that means if he can go swing hard, I'll just have to wait and see."
Though Storen and Morse are likely to be placed on the 15-day DL, each player's actual DL stint could be shorter. Teams are allowed to backdate the move to March 26 -- as long as those players do not appear in any games after that date -- which makes them eligible to return as early as April 10.
Morse has missed most of spring training with that lat strain, which has raised some eyebrows and more than a few red flags among Nationals fans. The Nationals offense wasn't exactly expected to be a murderer's row this season, and the absence of Morse, who hit 31 home runs in 2011, will make any power outage even more acute.
UPDATE: Per Mark Zuckerman, the sonogram brings good news.
Morse sonogram showed lat strain has healed. Cleared for baseball activites, though Opening Day still doubtful.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) March 28, 2012
That April 10 target date isn't out of the realm of possibility, after all.
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