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Morse out with left hand injury

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Morse out with left hand injury

NEW YORK -- Though he missed some time over the last month while dealing with problems with his right hand, Michael Morse all the while has been dealing with an injury to his left hand as well. And after Tuesday night's win over the Mets, the Nationals left fielder finally acknowledged the situation had become bad enough to warrant a doctor's visit.

"I'm not helping the team when I'm not 100 percent," Morse said. "I'm not helping myself, either. I'm going to get it looked at the next couple days, get down to the bottom of it and try to get back to 100 percent. I'm not 100 percent."

Morse admitted his left hand has been bothering him for about a month now, the genesis of this injury his compensation for a sore right thumb that forced him to take a one-handed swing in San Francisco.

"This has been for like a month now," he said. "I think when I hurt my hand, my thumb, one swing I kind of let go of the bat and I just swung one-handed and I kind of messed my left wrist up a little bit."

Morse played through the pain, and did miss several days later in August after getting hit in the right hand with a pitch in Philadelphia, but after an 0-for-5 performance Tuesday night decided it was time to speak up.

He said he'll be examined by a doctor on Wednesday, getting an X-ray and MRI on the hand. Manager Davey Johnson said his No. 5 hitter will miss at least a couple of days.

"I'm not worried," Morse said. "It's always good to just know, precautionary. Just get something going from here. I'm just, I'm sick of hurting the team."

Morse is actually hitting .298 over his last 14 games, but he's recorded only two extra-base hits during that time, perhaps a reflection of his inability to hit for power while nursing an injured hand.

Johnson has several options to replace Morse in left field: Roger Bernadina, Tyler Moore or Steve Lombardozzi.

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This year's Nationals roster is stacked with glorious facial hair

This year's Nationals roster is stacked with glorious facial hair

The following is a list of things the 2017 Washington Nationals appear to have: A talented outfield led by Bryce Harper and Adam Eaton. A rising superstar at shortstop in Trea Turner. A possibly major hole at closer.

The following is a list of things the 2017 Washington Nationals appear to not have: Razors. Shaving cream. A desire to groom their faces.

A fun tradition at each team's spring training is the annual photo day, because photo day forces professional athletes to pose in front of cameras like they're being featured in the poster of an upcoming blockbuster movie. And after poring through the snapshots from the Nationals' photo day, a single trend emerged.

This year's team is a hairy bunch.

Among that bunch are the usual suspects, such as Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth:

But there are some surprises, most notably of which is Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander tends to keep his mug 100-percent clean-shaven, but for now, at least, he's allowed his face to become quite fertile:

Then there's newcomer Adam Lind, who has a goatee that Duke's Blue Devil logo would be forced to respect:

Shawn Kelley, meanwhile, who's pictured below, has a beard that looks like...

...Derek Norris' beard, before Derek Norris' beard hit puberty and grew up to be the strong, mature beard it is today:

There are scraggly ones, such as Daniel Murphy's:

And fuller, more complete ones, like Eaton's (full marks, by the way, for the trade acquisition's ability to seamlessly connect 'stache to beard):

The most wild photo of all, however, was this one of Turner. Is this the Nats stud, or a picture of Leonard DiCaprio from a scene in The Revenant? Hard to tell with all that stubble the infielder's cultivating:

One potential positive of this team-wide movement: If Turner and his teammates keep what they're growing down in Florida going throughout the season, their faces will be plenty warm by the time playoff baseball comes around. 

RELATED: HARPER GOES YARD IN FIRST AT-BAT OF THE SPRING

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Nationals' Bryce Harper mashes monster homer on second pitch of spring training

Nationals' Bryce Harper mashes monster homer on second pitch of spring training

The Nationals played their first game of spring training today against the Mets. They won, but that's not nearly the biggest story of the day. It was Bryce Harper's first at-bat that stole the show. 

On just the second pitch he saw of spring training, from lefty Sean Gilmartin, Harper mashed a ginormous home run to right center field. MLB.com shared video of the bomb. 

According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Harper smacked the ball at least 400 feet. In his second at-bat, he hit a line-drive single on the first pitch. 

Let's just say it was an exciting start to the year for Harper, who won the 2015 NL MVP only to endure a let-down last season. As Castillo points out, the slugger hit .226 against left-handed pitchers in 2016. 

Harper enters spring training at 230 pounds, up 15 pounds of muscle from last year. 

“I just felt going into the offseason you want to get as strong as you can, try to maintain your weight the best you can and just do everything the right way,” he told the Post. 

MORE NATIONALS: Baker thinks DC sports teams can win a championship this year