View Photo Gallery: The Nationals defeated the Mets 3-1 for their first win of Spring Training.

The Nationals scratched left fielder Michael Morse from their lineup this afternoon with a right lat strain. While a team spokesman said Morse is listed as day-to-day, lat strains often sideline players for extended time. Last year, for example, Braves catcher Brian McCann and Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester spent time on the disabled list after suffering lat strains.

Morse, the Nationals projected cleanup hitter, made the trip to Lake Buena Vista and presumably pulled his lat while taking batting practice.

Bryce Harper replaced Morse in the lineup, and he will bat seventh and play right field. Chad Tracy will now hit cleanup, and Brett Carroll moved from right field to left field.

Morse has twice spent time on the disabled list in his career. In 2008, he underwent season-ending shoulder surgery while with the Seattle Mariners. In 2010, he missed almost a month with a strained calf.

For today, here’s the Nationals’ new lineup:


1. Ian Desmond, SS

2. Danny Espinosa, 2B

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Chad Tracy, DH

5. Jayson Werth, CF

6. Mark DeRosa, 1B

7. Bryce Harper, RF

8. Wilson Ramos, C

9. Brett Carroll, LF

- Gio Gonzalez, SP