The Nationals initially called Michael Morse day-to-day after he was diagnosed with a mild strain of his right lat muscle early last week. He returned to the lineup as the designated hitter on Monday and Tuesday, but it’s clear he’s not out of the woods yet.
Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com reports that Morse recently underwent an MRI which showed no further damage, but that he’ll get at bats on the minor league side for now instead of playing in Grapefruit League games. The 30-year-old is expected to serve as the Nationals’ starting left fielder this season, but he has yet to play in the field this spring due to the injury.
Morse has emerged as the most potent bat in the Nationals’ lineup over the past two seasons, hitting .298/.357/.539 with 46 homers and an .896 OPS in 244 games. It would be a big blow to the Nats’ chances if the injury lingers into the regular season.
The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.
Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.
Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.
Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.
And John Lackey is livid.
The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.
According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.
Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.
Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.