The Nationals originally put Michael Morse in tonight’s lineup to serve as the designated hitter, but late last night they decided, at his urging, to let him stay back in Viera and take at-bats in an intrasquad minor league game.

“There’s no reason to” play in Orlando, Morse said. “I’d get three at-bats there, where if I stay I can get six or eight and actually work on stuff rather than worry about hitting. I can take every pitch if I want to.”

For Morse and his strained lat, the concern is his throwing, not hitting. Morse has yet to play catch from farther than 90 feet or so. He received a cortisone shot Saturday and felt discomfort throwing Monday.

“I can throw it a little bit,” Morse said. “Just not far.”

Morse wasn’t worried about his lack of throwing, saying “there’s no point” to test his lat at this stage in spring. Morse has still been going through outfield drills with coach Bo Porter, working on reads and routes in left field.

“As long as I feel good at the plate, that’s the biggest thing we all get here,” Morse said. “My defense is fine. I just want to get more at-bats.”