Nationals outfielder Michael Morse, still yet to play for the team in 2012, is scheduled to make a minor league rehab appearance on Monday with the Single-A Potomac Nationals. Amanda Comak of The Washington Times first reported the story.
Morse continues his road back from a torn right lat muscle he sustained in spring training and aggravated earlier this season. The Nats slugger was shut down in April after experiencing a setback in his recovery.
The problem for Morse has been throwing the ball and not necessarily when he hits. Playing defense will be the biggest indicator for Morse who is expected to play in left field when he returns to the majors. The Nationals have played six different players in left this season at various times during his absence.
Morse was the Nationals' most productive hitter in 2011 and finished with a .303 batting average, 31 home runs, and 95 RBI. He was the team's cleanup hitter and a big reason they won 80 games. Though the Nats scored seven against the Braves on Friday night, offense has been their biggest weakness this season so far and his return will surely help. The timetable for his return is early June.
The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018.
Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.
Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.
The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.
Only the Marlins have had as many.
"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker told USA TODAY Sports. "They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me."
"I really thought this was my best year. We won at least 95 games each year and won the division back to back years but they said they wanted to go a different direction. It's hard to understand."
The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.
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While Nats fans were still digesting the news that Dusty Baker will not return as manager next year, the team released some more surprising news.
Second baseman Daniel Murphy underwent knee surgery today, per an official team report.
Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes reported that the surgery is considered significant and the team won't put a timeline on the recovery process:
"The procedure, according to the statement released by the team, repaired articular cartilage in Murphy’s right knee. For those interested in the details, it was a debridement and microfracture surgery, and orthopedic surgeon Timothy Kremchek performed it."
"For those concerned with the implications of the procedure, those are still unclear. The statement clarified that Murphy’s rehab “will progress throughout the offseason,” as one would hope, and did not include a timetable.
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