Storen has no structural damage in right elbow
Morse hopes to throw next week; Wang plays catch
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Nationals closer Drew Storen had an MRI on his right elbow recently and there wasn't any structural damage found. According to manager Davey Johnson, the MRI revealed a case of inflammation.
Storen hasn't pitched since March 7, but the skipper hopes that the right-hander can start throwing in a game in about a week. Johnson believes that Storen will be ready for Opening Day.
"His arm is in great shape," Johnson said. "I imagine he will probably rest it for two or three days. ... He should be fine to start the season. He is in shape, his arm is in shape. He is not going to have a drop off in a week to 10 days."
Michael Morse, who hasn't played in a game since March 13 because of a strained right lat muscle, is hoping to start baseball activities sometime next week, according to Johnson. Morse will try to throw first, as that has given him the most problems.
Recently, Morse received an injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to help his ailing lat muscle. According to the team's medical director, Dr. Wiemi Douoguih, "PRP is a therapy that uses one's own blood to enhance healing of injured tissues in the body. Platelets are a type of blood cell that aid in clotting, but also contains proteins that help in the healing process.
"PRP injection is thought to help enhance the healing process by introducing high concentrations of these bioactive proteins to injured tissue. Injecting PRP involves first drawing an individual's blood, then extracting concentrated platelets by spinning the blood down in a centrifuge. Finally, the concentrated platelet solution is injected into injured tendons, muscles, ligaments or joints to try to speed up the natural healing process."
General manager Mike Rizzo said that he saw Morse at Space Coast Stadium on Friday and believes he could be ready by Opening Day or soon thereafter.
"I feel good where he is at," Rizzo said. "He was bouncing around the clubhouse. He ran the stairs and did a lot of physical activities, not so much baseball activities. He didn't have any pain. His range of motion looked good. He looked good to me."
On Thursday, Johnson didn't seem optimistic that Morse would be on the Opening Day roster. On Friday, he was more optimistic.
"At least he will do something baseball oriented the first of next week," Johnson said. "Then, it's kind of almost up to him how he progresses."
Chien-Ming Wang, out with a strained left hamstring, was able to play catch Thursday at Space Coast Stadium. He didn't have any problems. On Friday, he was able to perform some agility drills.
"He was walking backwards, some light running and some throwing," Rizzo said. "The good thing about him is, it's a hamstring, and the shoulder is fine."
But it's doubtful that Wang will be on the Opening Day roster. With Wang expected to be out, John Lannan or Ross Detwiler will be the fifth starter in Washington's rotation.
Johnson to start using regular lineup soon
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson announced that he will start using his regular lineup, excluding outfielder Michael Morse and first baseman Adam LaRoche, starting Sunday against the Mets.
Although the team is hitting .249 this spring entering Friday, Johnson said he is not concerned about the offense.
"I'm not worried about my guys," Johnson said. "There are about 10 or 11 games left. I want to see them as a unit and make sure that they are all where I think they are. I want them to get used to playing with each other as a group."
The big test for Johnson is to see who plays left field and first base during the absence of Morse and LaRoche. Players such as Jason Michael and Chad Tracy will get a chance to play. Those two players are fighting for a spot on the bench.
As of now, infielder Mark DeRosa and catcher Jesus Flores are the bench players to start the season.
LaRoche and Morse have been injured for most of the spring, but Johnson hopes that both are ready to go by Opening Day.
Bernadina dealing with sore toe on right foot
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina had to leave Friday's 5-1 loss to the Astros after the second inning because of a sore big toe on his right foot.
Bernadina hurt the toe fouling off a pitch against the Cardinals on Thursday. He is expected to be back in the lineup on Sunday against the Mets.
"He is kind of lagging," manager Davey Johnson said. "He started off good, then he is kind of going through the doldrums. He'll be ready by Sunday."
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.