The Washington Nationals are hoping to overcome a spring full of injuries in time for opening day.
Two key offensive factors, Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche, are planning on taking significant steps in their recovery on Wednesday and Thursday.
Michael Morse, who has been sidelined with a right lat strain, is still hoping to be healthy by opening day in hopes to avoid a DL stint. He will take the first steps in his recovery on Wednesday.
Morse's injury makes it hard to throw comfortably. On Wednesday Morse will throw a baseball for the first time in two weeks. If all goes well, perhaps Morse only misses a couple of games and gets back in the lineup sooner than later.
Morse might have snuck in a few swings of the bat already, as he was reportedly seen walking around with two bats at the Nationals spring training facility.
Whether or not he is actually swinging a bat yet remains to be seen, but his first step should be throwing the ball again. Once that is checked off the list, Morse will be on his way back to full strength.
Nats' first baseman LaRoche is already making progress in his recovery from a bone bruise in his left foot. He began jogging this week and hopes to play in a spring training game on Thursday.
LaRoche has to impress manager Davey Johnson to prove he is fully recovered from soldier surgery as well as his foot injury. Johnson has said LaRoche will be a part of a platoon at first with Mark DeRosa to begin the season.
Although it will not be a strict platoon, it will allow Johnson to be cautious with LaRoche and ease him back in to playing every day.
LaRoche can be an added weapon to an already potent Nationals lineup if he can remain healthy. A long term platoon is unlikely if he proves he is ready to return.
He will have his chance to prove to Johnson that he is ready to go if he can have a successful day on Thursday.
Although they are up against the clock for opening day, LaRoche and Morse are taking steps in the right direction.
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