Nationals outfielder Michael Morse hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since being scratched from Tuesday’s lineup against the Braves because of a mild strain of his right lat muscle. But he’s hoping to get back on the right track early this week.
From MLB.com beat writer Bill Ladson comes word that Morse was given a cortisone injection on Saturday afternoon and is hoping to feel well enough to serve as the Nationals’ designated hitter in Monday’s exhibition matchup with the Cardinals.
Morse, 29, batted .303/.360/.550 with 31 home runs and 95 RBI in 575 plate appearances last season for Washington. Nats manager Davey Johnson said Sunday that he’s on pace to be ready for Opening Day.
The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.
The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.
This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.
The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.