Nats' Michael Morse Targets June 1st Return, Plans to Be DH in Interleague Play

Michael NargiSenior Analyst IMay 3, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 22: Michael Morse #38 of the Washington Nationals hits a three run home run during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 22, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Nationals won 6-1. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals are hoping to have their left fielder back by the time the main part of their interleague schedule gets underway on June 8th.

Morse thinks his season should begin on June 1st but hopes to be playing as the designated hitter when they hit the road and take on the Boston Red Sox on June 8th. Via

"I know I'm going to play. The main goal is to play when we start playing the AL teams — DHing and stuff. June 1, I'm looking for my 2012 season to start."

Morse's right lat muscle strain has predominantly been a problem when he throws. Throwing caused the most discomfort when the injury initially happened and reoccurred in a minor league game causing Morse to be shut down.

Morse has yet to throw or hit the ball since the set back which occurred on April 9th, but has begun a running program.

Before Wednesday's game, Morse told reporters (via The Washington Post)

I’m right where I’m supposed to be...I lift and train the other side of my body. But now, I just have to let it heal. They say it’s kind of like glue. If you don’t let it set and keep picking at it, it’s not going to heal.

Morse is a integral part of the Nationals offense. Last season Morse hit .303 while connecting for 31 home runs, 36 doubles and driving in 95 RBIs.

After 23 games this season without Morse, the Nats have only scored 75 runs, tied with the Miami Marlins for second worst in the majors. Only the Pittsburgh Pirates have scored less. The Nats also have only hit 13 home runs, which is third worst in the league.

After going to Boston, the Nats head to Toronto to take on the Blue Jays for a three game series before retuning home to welcome the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. They finish their interleague schedule against the Baltimore Orioles.