PHILADELPHIA -- His right hand still red and swollen, Michael Morse was not surprisingly out of the starting lineup for tonight's game against the Phillies, but the Nationals left fielder remains hopeful he'll be back within a matter of days.
Morse took a pitch off the outside of his hand during the first inning of Friday night's game and immediately dropped to a knee in obvious pain. Nationals officials and teammates were worried the pitch broke a bone, but X-rays came back negative and Morse was diagnosed only with a bad bruise.
Though it was an encouraging diagnosis, Morse is still dealing with pain and as of this afternoon had yet to attempt to grip a bat or ball.
"Gripping is tough," he said. "It's a little weak. I'm still trying to get my pinky to move a little more."
Morse described the overall feeling in his hand as "just sore" and "kind of weak." He planned to attempt to start testing it out while the rest of the Nationals are playing the Phillies tonight at Citizens Bank Park.
Morse said throwing may actually be a bigger concern than hitting.
Though Morse didn't entirely rule out the possibility of playing in Sunday's series finale, manager Davey Johnson suggested he's likely to be held out until the Nationals play in Miami on Tuesday.
"Yeah, probably," Johnson said. "It's going to be up to Michael. He got hit pretty good, so just play it day-by-day."
Ian Desmond, meanwhile, was out of the lineup for the second straight night with a mild hamstring strain suffered while taking an awkward step near first base on Wednesday in Washington. The Nationals shortstop doesn't expect to play at all this weekend.
"We're probably on a day-to-day basis," Johnson said. "But I'm not going to take a chance on injuries."
With Opening Day just a week away, the Washington Nationals were still unsure of who would be the closer.
After the team didn't re-sign Mark Melancon this offseason, and missed out on top free agent Kenley Jansen, the team got dangerously close to starting the season without naming a closer.
That was, until Thursday morning, when manager Dusty Baker tabbed Blake Treinen as the pitcher who would handle the ninth inning in save situations.
"To be in the position Dusty has put me in, I feel honored," Treinen said according to Mark Zuckerman.
This will be Treinen's fourth season with the Nationals. In 2016, Treinen finished with a 2.28 ERA in 67 innings for the Nationals. The 28-year-old also had 63 strikeouts in 67 innings.
The Washington Nationals will start their season against the Miami Marlins on Monday, April 3rd at Nationals Park.
Baseball season is about to begin, which means fantasy baseball seasons are about to begin, which means the season of naming your fantasy baseball team(s) is about to begin.
Are you struggling to come up with a clever/cheesy/"Yo, that is 90-percent stupid but 10-percent funny" 2017 fantasy baseball team name? Allow CSNmidatlantic.com to help you with the following 25 fantasy baseball team name ideas.
The first 12 are Nationals and Orioles-related fantasy team names, and the 13 after are inspired by the names of players with the 28 other organizations. Using any of them will ensure your season gets off to a strong start. Building a potent roster to go along with the name, though? Well, that's on you.
The top 25 2017 fantasy baseball team names
Nationals and Orioles names
1) The Bryce is right
2) The Scherzey Shore
3) Alternative Max
4) Damned if you Drew, damned if you Rendon't
5) Earth, Lind & Fire
6) 50 Shades of Trea
7) Beef Welington
8) Game of Jones
9) Watch me Whip, watch me J.J.
10) 8 Miley
11) Machado About Nothing
12) You say Ma-chay-do, I say Machado
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General MLB names
13) Hold the Odor!
14) Abad and Boujee
15) The Life of Pablo
16) Catch me if Yu can
17) Bauer Rangers
18) Upton Funk
19) Wacha Flocka Flame
20) Russell & Flow
21) No Cain, no gain
22) Gin Andrus
23) Honey Nut Ichiros
24) Soler powered
25) Gettin' Miggy Wit it