The Nats are about to get an injection of power.
According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters Wednesday that rehabbing slugger Michael Morse will “for sure” be ready for activation by June 8.
That’s when Washington will kick off a three-game interleague series in Boston, where Morse will be allowed to serve as the team’s desiganted hitter.
The 30-year-old has been on the disabled list since the end of spring training with a torn right lat muscle. He recently headed down to Viera, Florida to being participating in extended spring training games.
Morse posted a sparkling .303/.360/.550 batting line, 31 home runs and 95 RBI last season.
The Nationals enter play Wednesday night with a half-game lead over the Braves in the NL East.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.