The Washington Nationals are pleased with the progress that Michael Morse is making in his current rehab assignment and are weighing their options on when to bring him back to D.C.
If they wait another week, he can be the DH when the Nats travel to play the Boston Red Sox. If they call him up Friday or anytime before June 8, then he will have to play in the outfield.
Morse played the outfield for the first time since being shut down for six weeks after he suffered a setback earlier in the season. This time he made it through the game in right field with no setbacks and feels as though he is ready for the call up to the Nats.
Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post reported that Morse is feeling better than ever after his third rehab game with Class-A Potomac. “I feel good, so if that helps,” Morse said. “I feel like I’m 18 all over again. I’m hoping to get a call up.”
Morse feels as though the injury is a mere afterthought now and is ready to move on from it with the Nats, "I didn’t feel anything. There’s nothing bothering me. The lat’s the last thing I’m thinking about. The only thing I’m thinking about is hitting. That’s when you know the injury’s good. I’m thinking totally about other things."
Morse was impressive in the field on Thursday night and even made a throw from the warning track to the cutoff man. Morse will be playing right field while Jayson Werth continues to rehab from his wrist surgery.
Morse went on to speak about his desire to get back to the big league stadiums and his approach in the game on Thursday, "I think I’m pretty good. It’s hard to get the same feel of being in a big league park, a big league stadium, have that mentality. That’s what I was trying to do today. But I feel good. I feel good. I can’t wait to go back."
Should the Nats wait until June 8 to call up Morse to DH in Boston?
While many feel as though Morse will be called up on Friday, there are others that feel waiting a bit longer might be the safe and smart way to go about it.
Amanda Comak of The Washington Times shared insight into what the trainers and others have felt about Morse's rehab:
While the Nationals obviously are excited to welcome him back, you have to hope they are not rushing him. The Nationals trainers have told Johnson they'd prefer to wait until June 6 before they allow him to play the field but as Morse reports no pain each day and he continues his extensive throwing work that timetable continues to speed up. After going the first two months without him and one setback already in the books (back in April), though, it'd be surprising to see them allow him play before they feel he's ready.
A few days of extra rehab might be worth it in the end, especially with the recent setbacks suffered by other big name stars like Matt Kemp.
The Nationals might want to continue to play it safe with Morse because he is far too valuable to this team as he hit 31 home runs and drove in 95 runs last season.