Mike Morse to begin season on disabled list with lat injury

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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.

Brewers to give Mike Moustakas a look at second base

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The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.

The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.

This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.

Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.