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04/12/11 7:15 PM ET

LaRoche, Morse not in Nats' starting lineup

WASHINGTON -- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (left groin strain) and outfielder Michael Morse (flu) were not in Tuesday's lineup against the Phillies. Both players were available to pinch-hit, according to manager Jim Riggleman.

Morse was in the original lineup playing third base, but was scratched in favor of Jerry Hairston Jr. According to Riggleman, Morse had symptoms similar to reliever Sean Burnett, who missed Saturday's game against the Mets.

"Morse is not feeling well at all," Riggleman said. "He was like Burnett was the other day. He was really hit with the flu or something."

LaRoche, who injured his groin against the Mets on Sunday, believed he was well enough to play, but Riggleman and the training staff felt differently. LaRoche was not happy that he was not in lineup, but understood the manager's decision. He said he did everything he could do to get into the lineup "except throw blows."

"I feel like I could get through it. Sometimes it kind of gets put out of your hands," LaRoche said. "I would love to go, but I understand if something did happen, it would come back on other people. It's very, very frustrating. I just hate missing games.

"I'm not blaming anybody. It is what it is. If I was making out the lineup, my name would be in it. That being said, I don't always make the smartest decisions. That what those guys get paid to do. We don't see eye to eye on it, but I'm not going to throw a manager, GM, trainer or anybody under the bus at all."

The day off will at least give LaRoche's shoulder some rest. He is also nursing a slight tear in his left rotator cuff.

Hairston, Cora, Morse to see time at third

WASHINGTON -- With third baseman Ryan Zimmerman out of the lineup with an abdominal strain, look for the Nationals to use Jerry Hairston Jr., Alex Cora and Michael Morse at the position.

With Morse playing third, manager Jim Riggleman most likely will play Laynce Nix in left field.

Riggleman also may change his mind about resting center fielder Rick Ankiel against Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee on Thursday.

Riggleman feels Ankiel has been holding his own against left-handers. Entering Tuesday's action, Ankiel was 2-for-5 with an RBI against southpaws.

Worth noting

Double-A Harrisburg catcher Derek Norris has been placed on the disabled list because of an ankle injury, while catcher Brian Peacock has been promoted from Potomac. Norris hurt the ankle while running out an infield single.

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.