As expected Mike Morse will begin the season on the disabled list, with the Nationals making the move official today.
Morse has been out since March 13 with a lat injury and received platelet-rich plasma injections as part of his treatment, but won’t have enough time to be ready by next week.
Morse’s injury opens the door for minor-league signing Xavier Nady to crack the Opening Day roster as first base/left field depth. Steve Lombardozzi has also been seeing some action in the outfield and Mark DeRosa is another option.
Morse played 146 of 162 games last season, hitting .303 with 31 homers and a .910 OPS.
The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”
Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.
After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.