Sep 10, 2012; Flushing, NY,USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Michael Morse (38) grounds out to third as he breaks the bat during the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
In the post game press conference following Monday night's win over the New York Mets, Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson talked to reporters about the Nats' offense and the improvements he's seen at the plate from the likes of Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond this season. "The one guy that has not quite reached...," his potential, or full strength, however, Johnson said, "... is [Michael] Morse. Morse is, because of the injury and down time, he's not quite where he needs to be. But he'll get there." Not quite there for Morse = a .289/.319/.450 line with 15 doubles and 13 HRs in 87 games and 370 PAs so far this season after the slugger recovered from a lat injury which delayed the start of his 2012 campaign. The 30-year-old outfielder has been dealing with a series of hand-related issues after having been jammed and hit on the wrist recently. Though he'd hit in 10 of his last 12 games before going 0 for 5 with 2 Ks and seven LOB last night in the Nationals' 5-3 win over the Mets, the power hasn't quite been there for Morse, who has just one extra base hit over that stretch which includes the Nats' 11-game homestand and the first two of three in New York.
Following last night's game, Davey Johnson told reporters that Morse had decided he'd had enough. "After the game," Johnson said, "Michael Morse confided in me that his wrist was killing him and he's been trying to play through it." The Nats' skipper said Morse has been, "... nursing the right hand and he's also, I think from when he... that's bothering him, and you try to use your bottom hand a little more and he's aggravated it, but he's trying to play through it. But we'll give him a couple of days off and hopefully he'll be better."
"'I'm not helping the team when I'm not 100 percent,'" Morse told reporters including CSNWashington.com's Mark Zuckerman after the game. The Nationals outfielder told reporters he would have an X-ray and MRI on the wrist/hand today though he stressed that it was just precautionary. Davey Johnson praised the work his bench has done in last night's post game, and noted that the success they've had allows him the luxury of resting his starters when necessary. In Morse's case, Johnson said, "We'll see. We're just going to play it day-by-day. But I didn't like the way he's been swinging here lately and I was going to give him tomorrow off because [Mets' right-hander Matt Harvey] is a pretty hard thrower. I'll flip a coin between [Tyler] Moore and [Roger] Bernadina [to see] who goes out there."