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Morse could return to Nats Friday

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Morse could return to Nats Friday

MIAMI -- Having successfully made it through his first rehab game at Class A Potomac, Michael Morse could be on target to return to the Nationals lineup as soon as Friday.

Manager Davey Johnson said Morse (out since early March with a torn lat muscle) has been making throws from the outfield during pregame drills and will likely start in the outfield for Potomac tomorrow night after serving as designated hitter again tonight.

Morse made two plate appearances during last night's rain-shortened game in Woodbridge, walking once and striking out once.

"The timing's a little off, but other than that he feels fit and ready to go," Johnson said. "So his timetable will probably be sped up. We'll see how he does today and tomorrow, but he could be back in D.C. soon."

Asked if that means it's possible Morse could come off the disabled list in time for Friday's homestand opener against the Braves, Johnson replied: "I'd say it's an outside possibility."

There was some thought Morse might only be available to hit for a while upon his return and would thus serve as DH for next weekend's interleague series in Boston. But Johnson said today he won't hesitate to put Morse in the lineup as soon as he returns.

"I'd throw him right out there," the manager said. "If he's able to go, I'll throw him right in the lineup. He might connect and hit one hard. And it would be a welcome addition. ... Why waste the at-bats in Potomac?"

When Morse does return, don't be surprised if he does so at different position than originally planned. Steve Lombardozzi's emergence as a viable leadoff hitter and left fielder will probably convince Johnson to move Morse to right field and slide Bryce Harper to center field.

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Nationals re-sign Howie Kendrick for two-years

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Nationals re-sign Howie Kendrick for two-years

WASHINGTON  -- The Nationals have agreed to a $7 million, two-year contract with outfielder Howie Kendrick, a deal subject to a successful physical.

Agent Pat Murphy confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Monday. USA Today was first to report the deal.

Kendrick, 34, hit .293 with seven home runs and RBIs in 52 games with Washington after he was acquired from Philadelphia. The versatile right-handed hitter got just three plate appearances off the bench in the playoffs.

In 12 major league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Dodgers, Phillies and Nationals, Kendrick is a .291 hitter with a .755 OPS. He's now primarily an outfielder for Washington after playing left field, second base, first base and other positions throughout his career.

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See hilarious highlights from Nats' Racing Presidents tryouts

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USA Today Sports Images

See hilarious highlights from Nats' Racing Presidents tryouts

Ever wonder how you can become one of the Washington Nationals' Racing Presidents or what it takes to get the job?

The team recently detailed the requirements and held tryouts on Sunday for the next group of presidents to carry on the 12-season tradition.

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While the basic requirements are pretty standard — be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, etc. — the specifics are quite unusual compared with a typical job. Among them, presidential candidates need to be at least 5-foot-7 but no taller than 6-foot-6 and able to run from centerfield to first base in a 50-pound costume. Needless to say, those who were invited to try out had to be in pretty good physical shape.

So in bitter cold temperatures, participants raced against each other in a 40-yard dash with the 50-pound costume on. They also danced.

Here are some of the highlights from Sunday’s Racing Presidents tryouts.

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