Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Nats News and Notes from Hagerstown

Last night, Michael Morse and Rick Ankiel both got the start in Hagerstown for the Nationals Class A affiliate Suns. The Suns hosted the Astros Class A affiliate Lexington Legends.

The Suns found themselves up early after Matthew Skole crushed a grand slam over the right field wall. Skole was a fifth round pick for the Nationals in the MLB draft this past year. The Legends would not go quietly and tied the game in the late innings. The game would head into extras and Caleb Ramsey would end it with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eleventh inning. The Suns won 8-7.

Morse Not Ready
It became quite clear last night that outfielder Michael Morse is not ready to come back to the majors. There were many signs that pointed to him still being bothered by his hamstring. He had a tough go in left field as the Legends ran him all around it. He had trouble getting the ball from the outfield wall to the infield on one bounce or less.

In the batters box, Morse went 2-4 with two singles. He showed some hustle when he beat the throw to first base on a one hopper to third. Morse was then pulled from the game before the eighth inning.

Ankiel Making Strong Recovery
Rick Ankiel looked very strong for the Suns last night. He is recovering from a quad injury and is doing quite well. He went 4-5 with a two-run home run and an RBI single.

He got the start in centerfield. He, too, had some running he had to do while playing defense. However, Ankiel's arm looked strong as ever as he was able to get the ball from the outfield wall to the infield on one hop or less (usually none). Ankiel, like Morse, was also pulled before heading to extras. He was replaced before the tenth inning.

Top Prospect Injured
Nationals first round draft pick and Suns right fielder Brian Goodwin pulled up after hustling down the first base line and beating out the throw to first for a base hit. After crossing the bag for the base hit, Goodwin then bent over at the hip and appeared to be stretching out his hamstring. The apparent injury happened in the second inning.