VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals outfielder Michael Morse and first baseman Adam LaRoche are not expected to play in a Major League Spring Training game for at least a week.
Morse, who has played just three games during the Grapefruit League season, has a strained right lat [back] muscle. While he can swing a bat, he is not allowed to throw the baseball. Morse believes he will be ready for Opening Day.
As for LaRoche, he had an MRI recently, and it revealed he has a bone bruise and cartilage sprain in his left foot. LaRoche is having problems running the bases. He, too, believes he will be ready for Opening Day.
"I really feel this is going to be put behind [me] shortly," LaRoche said. "I'm going to give it a few days, go back to the Minor League side, get a bunch of at-bats where I don't have to run the bases. As long as I'm seeing some pitches -- I don't care if it's coming out of an 18-year-old's hand. I don't want to fall a week behind as far as seeing live pitching."
Outfielder Rick Ankiel had a full workout in front of manager Davey Johnson on Saturday and is expected to return to action Tuesday against the Mets. Ankiel has not played since March 9 because of a tight left hamstring.
Nationals give Nady chance to make impact
VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals signed Xavier Nady to a Minor League deal on Friday, and he will spend his entire Spring Training in Minor League camp and will start the season with Triple-A Syracuse.
Nady can play the corner-outfield positions as well as first and third base. When healthy, Nady can be a productive hitter. His last productive season was in 2008, when he hit a combined .305 with 25 home runs and 97 RBIs with the Pirates and Yankees. In two out of the next three years, Nady had serious injuries. He had Tommy John surgery in '09 and fractured his hand last season.
General manager Mike Rizzo said the Nationals watched Nady work out in California before signing him to a contract.
"He will be on the Minor League side getting his swings in, trying to get into baseball shape, and we'll take it from there," Rizzo said. "He has been an accomplished Major League player in the past. He is a versatile guy who could play several positions. He is a terrific guy to have in the clubhouse, a good presence, a Major League veteran and a guy that could swing the bat from the right side. He can play the four corner positions."
Nats make roster moves in addition to Harper
VIERA, Fla. -- Bryce Harper wasn't the only player the Nationals optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday. They also optioned catcher Jhonatan Solano and first baseman Tyler Moore to Syracuse.
The Nationals also reassigned infielder Mark Teahen to Minor League camp.
Moore is a highly touted prospect who could end up as the team's everyday first baseman in 2013. In the last two years, Moore hit a combined 62 home runs and drove in 201 runs for Class A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg. Moore was 8-for-27 [.296] with a homer and four RBIs during Grapefruit League play.
Solano is expected to be the everyday catcher for Syracuse. He was 1-for-13 [.077] this spring.
Teahen, who is a veteran of seven seasons in the big leagues, was 5-for 27 with three RBIs.
The Nationals currently have 37 players in their big league camp.
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.