Now Commenting On:

Morse to be shut down for six weeks

Morse to be shut down for six weeks

Morse to be shut down for six weeks
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals received bad news Thursday, as they learned that outfielder Michael Morse is expected to be shut down for six weeks after aggravating his strained right lat (back) muscle on Monday while playing for Class A Hagerstown.

There isn't any surgical option to fix the lat, and there isn't a timetable on when Morse will return to game action.

Morse can swing the bat without any problems, but he continues to feel discomfort while throwing the baseball. In fact, Morse had problems throwing the ball back to Hagerstown shortstop Jason Martinson in the game.

"We are going to put him on total shut-down mode for six weeks, so he can rest it," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. "We'd tried to ramp him up and get him ready as quickly as we could, because he is a big piece of our lineup. He just reaggravated it, and we have to be ultra cautious and make sure he is right for the majority of the season."

For now, the Nationals are not looking to trade for a corner outfielder. They are confident in what they have in players such as Mark DeRosa and Xavier Nady. Rizzo said they also have an option in Bryce Harper, who is currently at Triple-A Syracuse, but the team will not rush Harper to the big leagues because of Morse's injury.

"If there is a viable option to get another guy that fits what we are trying to do this year and beyond, for the long term, we are always open for that," Rizzo said. "But we like the option that we have here. We have a guy in Syracuse that is an option for us. We feel good where we are at."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español