WASHINGTON -- Before Tuesday's rainout against the Dodgers, Nationals outfielder Michael Morse was back in the lineup, hitting fifth, after missing the last four games because of a left wrist injury. He also has a right thumb injury that needs to be fixed, but nothing will be done until after the season is over.
"Mike was feeling pretty good and he was good to go," manager Davey Johnson said. "We were anxious to have him back in the lineup."
Morse was able to take hitting practice Sunday and Tuesday afternoon without any problems. But the question is: Can he generate the power that he had earlier in the season? He has hit one home run since Aug. 17.
Espinosa day to day with bone bruise in shoulder
WASHINGTON -- Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa had an MRI on his left shoulder Monday afternoon that revealed a bone bruise inside the shoulder. He is listed as day to day and could play Wednesday against the Dodgers.
"He is a tough kid. I would probably have to get clearance from the doctor and let the doctor fight Espinosa," manager Davey Johnson said.
Espinosa thought his injury was a lot worse. He thought he may have had a torn labrum or rotator cuff because he had a tough time generating power, but Espinosa was relieved to learn that he had a bruise. He later received a cortisone shot.
"This is the best news we could have gotten," Espinosa said. "If it was a labrum tear or a rotator cuff tear, I would have surgery during the offseason. I didn't know there was going to be a bruise in there. It's definitely the best news I could have gotten."
Espinosa injured the shoulder while making a diving play against the Marlins earlier this month and had problems swinging the bat. He has one hit in his last 22 at-bats and noticed that he was late on every pitch.
"I felt something kind of pop or something kind of jammed," Espinosa said. "I grabbed my bat to see if it was hurting or not. I took a swing and I could tell it was weak. I didn't want to say anything. I thought it would eventually go away. I was in the batting cages warming up with [hitting coach Rick] Eckstein every day. It was kind of a struggle to get [the shoulder] loose and I couldn't get it loose. It was about the same feeling that I had every day."
Espinosa has been an iron man for the Nationals this season. He has appeared in 144 of their 146 games and didn't miss a game from May 30 to Sept. 11.
Zimmerman is Nats' nominee for Clemente Award
WASHINGTON -- Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was named the Nationals' 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.
Tuesday marked the 11th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente's legacy and to officially recognize local club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award.
Zimmerman is one of 30 club finalists nominated for the award, which pays tribute to Clemente by recognizing a current player who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. The award is named for the 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Zimmerman's commitment to the community is best illustrated through his work with the ziMS Foundation, which he founded in 2006, his first full season in the Major Leagues. The ziMS Foundation aims to raise money for multiple sclerosis awareness and programs benefiting those afflicted with the disease.
Serving as president, Zimmerman is actively involved in and donates his time, money and image to promoting the foundation. This year the foundation expects to surpass $1 million in donations for MS charities and research. The foundation holds several fundraising events annually, including ziMS Funfest, the Golf and Gala and the popular Night at the Park held at Nationals Park. Zimmerman's community outreach also includes visits to local children's hospitals several times each season.
"More and more today, you see guys doing stuff off the field and in the community. That's an important part of being a professional athlete," Zimmerman said.
Fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting MLB.com/ClementeAward to vote for one of the 30 nominees. Participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series, where the national winner of the award will be announced. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Oct. 14, and the winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by a selection panel.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.