MIAMI -- Don't look for Nationals reliever Brian Broderick to appear in tight games anytime soon. Manager Jim Riggleman said the right-hander will only take the mound if the team has a comfortable lead or trails by a significant margin.The last time Broderick appeared in a game was Sunday in an 11-2 loss to the Braves. Broderick allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning. "I really don't want to put him in there where the weight is all on him to carry the decision," Riggleman said. "Last night [against the Marlins], when the game was close, that's not the situation I want him to be in right now. ... I want to give him a more softer landing."
Slumping Morse gets night off
MIAMI -- Nationals manager Jim Riggleman decided to sit Michael Morse against the Marlins on Thursday because the left fielder is in a 2-for-17 slump to start the season. Laynce Nix got the start instead.The right-handed-hitting Morse was arguably the team's Spring Training MVP, hitting .364 with a team-leading nine home runs and 18 RBIs. Why hasn't the success carried over into the season? His timing has been off when going after the pitches he likes, causing him to pull the ball too much. "I'm way to out in front. I'm probably overanxious," Morse said. "I need to let the ball travel a little deeper and hit it the other way." Morse also said he is not putting extra pressure on himself just because he is playing every day for the first time in his big league career. "I'm just so happy," Morse said. "It's more about I'm so excited that I'm playing every day and getting to bat fifth in this lineup. Maybe I'm too excited. I just need to calm down and be myself, just play. It's like I said, just let the ball travel deeper and hit the other way." Riggleman said Morse will be back in the lineup on Friday against the Mets.
Wang, Rodriguez ready to throw
MIAMI -- Nationals pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is expected to pitch in an extended spring training game in a week, according to general manager Mike Rizzo.Wang hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues in almost two years because of shoulder problems. The last time he pitched in any type of game was in early March. Wang pitched one inning in a Minor League intrasquad game before stopping because of a painful shoulder. Right-hander Henry Rodriguez, on the disabled list because of neck issues, is pitching in a rehab game for Double-A Harrisburg on Thursday. He is expected to throw two innings. There is no timetable as to when Rodriguez will join the big league club. Rodriguez was not impressive during Spring Training, allowing two runs in 2 1/3 innings with three walks. He has a fastball that can top 100 mph, which doesn't mean much if he can't get the ball over the plate. He has a reputation of walking a lot of batters.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.