Michael Morse will ‘for sure’ return to the Nationals by June 8

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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.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.