VIERA, Fla. — Rick Ankiel went through a full workout Saturday afternoon and came through with his strained left quad feeling fine so the Nationals outfielder was on the travel roster for Tuesday night’s game in his hometown of Port St. Lucie against the New York Mets.
That’s the most positive development for the Nationals’ walking wounded. Ankiel is expected to get back into games Tuesday night after the Nationals’ only scheduled off day of the spring comes on Monday.
“In his mind he’s ready to go today,” said Nationals manager Davey Johnson. “But we’ll take the wraps off probably Tuesday.”
As for the rest, there wasn’t much to update with Michael Morse or Adam LaRoche. LaRoche reiterated what he told The Washington Times on Saturday, that it was a bone bruise on his left foot with a bit of a cartilage sprain and the plan right now was to give it the time it needs to fully heal so as not to aggravate it again down the road.
LaRoche is planning to head over to the Nationals’ minor league camp in the next few days to get some at-bats, much the way he did at the start of the spring games, where he can hit but not have to run the bases or play the field. LaRoche estimated that it’d be about a week before he was back to giving it a test with running the bases.
“I really feel this is going to be put behind (me) shortly,” LaRoche said. “I’m going to give it a few days, go back to the minor league side, get a bunch of at-bats where I don’t have to run the bases. As long as I’m seeing some pitches — I don’t care if it’s coming out of an 18-year old’s hand — I don’t want to fall a week behind as far as seeing live pitching.”
Michael Morse was also held off from baseball activities again on Sunday. Morse was put through a rigorous workout with Nationals’ strength and conditioning coach John Philbin but he is still refraining from hitting or throwing.
The idea with both is to allow them to not have to deal with this for an even more extended period that lasts into the season by giving them a lengthy period of rest now.