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Morse has torn sheath, bone bruise in wrist

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Morse has torn sheath, bone bruise in wrist

NEW YORK -- An examination of Michael Morse's left wrist this morning revealed a torn sheath and bone bruise, injuries that while currently painful don't require surgery and could possibly allow the Nationals' left fielder to return to the lineup Friday in Atlanta.

Morse said the diagnosis actually gave him peace of mind, relieving any worries he had a break or more significant tear that would keep him out longer.

"Oh, yeah. For sure," he said. "Just have to get it better now."

There's not a whole lot Morse can do to help speed along the healing process, aside from rest and some anti-inflammatory medication. The plan for now: He's not playing in tonight's series finale against the Mets and will be off with the rest of the club Thursday. He'll then attempt to take batting practice Friday in Atlanta, at which point the Nationals will decide whether he's ready to play or needs more time to recover.

"We asked for anything we can do," Morse said. "They pretty much said the best thing is just to let it calm down."

The Nationals also will send copies of Morse's MRI to a specialist in Baltimore, seeking another opinion.

The injury has plagued Morse for about a month and could be a byproduct of him compensating for another injury to his right thumb. Unable to grip his bat during a mid-August series in San Francisco, he attempted a one-handed swing, adding stress to his left wrist.

Morse has played through the pain since, but his production has dropped off. Since that series against the Giants, he's hitting .238 with two homers and zero doubles.

After going 0-for-5 during Tuesday night's win, he told manager Davey Johnson about the extent of his pain.

"I'm sick of hurting the team," he said.

"He's been trying to play through it, but I was going to give him off anyway because I thought he had to be hurting the way he's been swinging," Johnson said. "Glad to find out about it. Wished he'd have said something. Maybe we could've given him some time off and then he wouldn't have had to struggle through this little batting slump."

The sheath is a layer of connective tissue that surrounds the wrist. If completely torn, it could require surgery, but that doesn't appear to be the case for Morse.

This is merely the latest ailment to interrupt Morse's season. He missed the season's first two months with a torn lat muscle and missed time last month after getting hit by a pitch in his right hand.

Overall, the 30-year-old is hitting .285 with 13 homers, 49 RBI and a .758 OPS in 88 total games on the heels of a breakthrough 2011 in which he led the Nationals with a .303 average, 31 homers, 95 RBI and a .910 OPS.

"It's been a tough year," he said. "I'm going to try to help the team as much as possible."

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Former Nationals outfielder admits to drinking vodka before MLB games

Former Nationals outfielder admits to drinking vodka before MLB games

When it comes to sports, we sometimes forget that the athletes we look up to are just normal people.  Normal people who have a lot to prove to millions of people on a weekly basis.  Former Nationals outfielder Rick Ankiel has discussed one his human moments in an interview with 590 The Fan in St. Louis.

Ankiel admitted to drinking vodka during his plight as a pitcher. He referenced his first two starts of the 2001 season, in particular against the his opener Arizona Diamondbacks where he allowed his anxiety to giving in to alcohol to soothe him. In the previous postseason, he became the first pitcher since 1980 to throw five wild pitches in a single inning. 

It may have worked for a couple of games but Ankiel eventually realized it was only making matters worse.

Ankiel began playing in the MLB at the age of 19 and has had a fluctuating career through six teams.  All the while, he has keep a “never give up” mentality.

Why the sudden need to vent? The St. Louis baseball pitcher is getting up close and personal with his upcoming book, “The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed my Life” which is co-written with sports writer, Tim Brown will be released on April 18.  

His two seasons with the Nationals, resulted in 127 hits and 52 RBIs as an outfielder. 

MORE NATS: Can't miss Nationals promotional schedule

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Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

The Washington Nationals have signed former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters to a one-year deal with a player option for a second year, according to multiple reports. 

Wieters spent the first eight years in the Majors with the Baltimore Orioles, being named to the AL All-Star team four times and winning two gold glove awards. Last season the switch-hitting catcher posted a .243 average with 17 homers and 66 RBI.  

The Nationals have been in the market for catchers all offseason after Wilson Ramos left for Tampa Bay in free agency. The team traded for former Padres catcher Derek Norris, whose role is now in question. The Nationals still have Jose Lobaton on the roster as a strong defensive backup catcher who has a proven rapport with many of the pitchers in the Nationals rotation. Wieters had been linked to the Nationals all offseason because of the team's need a the position and because of the Nationals close relationship with Wieters' agent Scott Boras. 

The only significant time that Wieters has missed due to injury in his career came in 2014-15 when he had Tommy John surgury. Prior to that surgury, however, Wieters had played in at least 130 games for four straight seasons and became a large part of the Orioles' identity. 

The 30-year-old backstop will give the Nationals lineup more depth and power. Wieters had three consecutive 20-homer seasons from 2011-13 and since 2009 when his career began, he ranks fifth among catchers in all of baseball in home runs with 117. 

Related: Nationals 2017 promotional schedule includes snow globes and fedoras