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Though he said he's not worried, Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson is sounding increasingly pessimistic regarding Mike Morse's strained right latissimus dorsi and availability for opening day. Morse reportedly received platelet-rich plasma treatment, and such injections typically take several weeks to yield full results.
The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore speculates that any delay in the return of Morse and Adam LaRoche (bruised left foot) would be short-lived and not result in a DL stint for either player. Morse has been running but has avoided hitting and throwing.
This could prompt a discount for Morse, who's coming off a breakthrough season and has the skills to sustain it. But lat maladies can linger (being 6-foot-5, 245 pounds probably doesn't help), and the Nats didn't seem to follow Nick's advice on handling the situation. Weigh your financial or selection commitment against the likelihood of at least a briefly abbreviated season.
Morse and LaRoche absences could lead to at minimum a brief jolt of at-bats for Steve Lombardozzi, who has patrolled left field of late, and utility man Mark DeRosa. Also, possibly throw in one of their other outfield retreads, including Roger Bernadina. This lot isn't particularly exciting, and this situation would be a fantasy mess, but Lombardozzi at least has a pinch of playing-time upside thanks to his versatility.
David Wright (abdominal strain) took batting practice Thursday and is making throws across the diamond. The New York Mets third sacker's swing looked "really good," per a scout, who also was wowed by the sound of his contact. Calm down: One would hope that even an injured major leaguer's connections with BP pitches would resonate.
Still, it's a positive development as he aims to be on the field opening day. Don't back off from paying normal price unless he has a setback.
Due to his rapid progression in his rehab, there's a "higher probability" that Allen Craig (knee) could be on the St. Louis Cardinals' opening day roster, per GM John Mozeliak. He's playing in minor league games at the moment but would be a valuable part of the Cards' lineup ... somewhere on the field.
The original timetable of a late-April or early-May return has had deep mixed and NL-only leaguers shying away from going full price on Craig; it's already a reasonable bet to capture a full season of his electric bat, so this optimism should put his name back in bold on your cheat sheet.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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