Rehabbing Nats OK to hit on Minors field

Rehabbing Nats OK to hit on Minors field

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals outfielders Michael Morse and Rick Ankiel and first baseman Adam LaRoche can't play in Grapefruit League games because of injuries, but they can get at-bats on the Minor League field, manager Davey Johnson said.

LaRoche continues to have a left foot problem and feels pain when he runs the bases. LaRoche hurt the foot while doing a baserunning drill last month.

Morse recently had an MRI exam, and it revealed that he still has a strained right lat muscle. Morse, who has played three exhibition games, can swing a bat, but he still can't throw a baseball. Ankiel continues to have left hamstring issues and has not played since March 9 against the Marlins.

Like with outfielder Bryce Harper earlier this week, LaRoche, Morse and Ankiel must work out in front of Johnson in order to play in a Grapefruit League game.

"For this time of year, I'm cautious," Johnson said. "My conversation with the trainer today was, 'Ankiel, Morse and LaRoche: Treatment here [Space Coast Stadium], they can hit over there [Minor League Field] under your supervision.' I'm going to be on the cautious side. We got a ways to go. Those guys don't have to prove anything to me. My main concern is getting them ready. It depends on how quickly they recover."