Morse primed to take the next step

Right fielder Michael Morse says he will spend the offseason working out with soon-to-be Hall of Famer and Nationals teammate catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

Morse is hoping his .290, 15-home run season will translate into an every day starter job for the Nationals in 2011 and feels learning from one of the best will help him make that final step.

"That will be kind of interesting. We are planning to workout with his trainer in Florida during the offseason," says Morse.

"It will definitely help me learn how to keep in shape for the entire season. That is the big thing. Pudge has played forever and has been on the disabled list very few times in his career."

During the season on the road, Rodriguez finds the hotel's weight room with his trainer and is seen working out there every day, hours before he needs to report to the ballpark.

"Rodriguez knows how to stay healthy and stay in shape for a season," says Morse.

"I am hoping to learn new techniques" that he has employed over the years to keep his body in shape.

Morse says he is comfortable playing in the outfield but would have no problem shifting to first base, if necessary. Morse says he loved his time playing shortstop earlier in his career and can play on the dirt infield full time.

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