Washington Nationals' Michael Morse Will Begin Season on DL

Michael NargiSenior Analyst IMarch 30, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 23:  Michael Morse #38 of the Washington Nationals reacts after striking out to end the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 23, 2011 in Washington, DC. Atlanta won the game 7-4. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Michael Morse has been making strides to come back from his strained right lat muscle, but will not make it back in time for the beginning of the season.

According to William Ladson, Morse will open the season on the disabled list for the Washington Nationals.

Morse, who hit 31 home runs for the Nationals last year, has not played in a spring training game since March 13.

The biggest concern for Morse will be throwing from the outfield with the injury. Although he made progress and threw from 60 feet on Friday, there simply is not enough time for him to get enough work done before the season begins.

He is pivotal to the success of the Nationals this season, so it will be beneficial to the Nats for them to allow him to heal completely.

Look for 23-year-old Steve Lombardozzi to start a few games in the outfield for manager Davey Johnson's team. Lombardozzi is a utility player that Johnson likes a lot and he might get a chance to play some games in the outfield with Morse on the disabled list.

Morse will be eligible to come off the DL around April 10.