Michael Morse is starting today at designated hitter. In coming games, he'll play left field, the position the Nationals have him slated to play all season. The position Morse will not play all spring, Manager Davey Johnson said, is first base.

Last year, Morse took over at first base when Adam LaRoche went down for the season in May with a torn labrum. His move from the outfield to first coincided with his offensive breakout, an offensive surge that ended with him hitting 30 home runs and emerging as the Nationals' best hitter.

"He worked hard and got comfortable at first," Johnson said. "With Adam being out, we needed to see if he could get some experience going to left. I was thinking about, whoever is going to be here next year, it'd be nice if Mo' could play in the outfield. With LaRoche being here for sure this year and probably next year if he has a big year this year, that is what the roster dictated."