WASHINGTON -- With outfielder Michael Morse expected to miss six more weeks of action with a strained right lat (back) muscle, Mark DeRosa and Xavier Nady are expected to see the bulk of the playing time in left field, and both players are ready for the challenge.
Entering Friday's action, DeRosa and Nady were a combined 5-for-32(.156) with an RBI.
"It stinks that our No. 4-hole hitter has to go through this," DeRosa said. "But we are a deep team. I think it's one of the big things [manager] Davey [Johnson] preached this offseason -- getting the bench deep and stronger, be able to give guys days off. Now we are thrust into a position where we are going to have to play well.
"It's about winning. I have to hit better," DeRosa continued. "X has to hit better. It's early, but at the same time, there is a big opportunity here. ... I'm up to the challenge, I had a really good spring. My swing is where it needs to be. I got off to a slow start, but at the same time, one game can change that."
Nady knows what it's like to miss time. For example, he missed all but seven games of the 2009 season because of Tommy John surgery.
"DeRosa and I have been talking a lot, and we have to pick up the slack and contribute," Nady said. "We have to play as a team. Obviously, we are going to miss Morse because of what he is able to do. But we have to pick it up and be productive while we are in there. And I know we are up for it, and it has to start soon."
Both Nady and DeRosa have been everyday players in their career, and both have proven capable of driving in runs.