According to reports out of Nationals Park this afternoon, 30-year-old Washington Nationals' slugger Michael Morse will be reporting to Viera, Florida tomorrow as he continues to prepare for his return from the DL. Morse had a career year in 2011, posting a .303/.360/.550 line with 36 doubles and 31 HR's in 146 games and 575 plate appearances over which he was worth +3.4 fWAR, but after signing a 2-year/$10.5M dollar extension this past winter, the veteran of seven MLB seasons suffered a lat strain/tear in Spring Training and has yet to take his first major league at bat in 2012. From what the Nationals said this afternoon before the second of two with the Pirates in D.C., Morse's days of shoving shaving cream pies in his teammates faces may soon be over. Or at least his days of doing so while on the DL:
• via the Washington Times' Amanda Comak:
The #nats are still targeting June 8 for Michael Morse's return, but he told Davey he'd be ready when they return home for 6/1 homestand— Amanda Comak (@acomak) May 17, 2012
• MASNSports.com's Dan Kolko (@MASNKolko on Twitter) added that the Nationals, "will play things carefully with Morse to prevent another setback but there's a possibility he rejoins team as early as 6/1."
• Here's tonight's lineup for the second of two with the Pirates:
• Jordan Zimmermann's on the mound, making his eighth start of the year after a 7.0-inning outing in Cincinnati last week in which he allowed just one run on five hits, walking one and striking out seven. Game time 7:05 pm EDT.