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.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.