ATLANTA — The injury updates from Atlanta today are as follows: Laynce Nix and his sore right Achilles are going to need managing for a while and catcher Ivan Rodriguez took some swings in the cage today.
Nix, who has been dealing with the Achilles issue for some time, was out of the Nationals lineup Saturday after feeling a little tenderness in the area on Friday night. That’s likely the way it’s going to go for the rest of the season for Nix.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that his cleanup hitter has been tested extensively and doctors have come to the consensus that he can’t make it significantly worse by playing through it. They’ve also determined that a lengthy period of rest should be able to offer the healing Nix needs and surgery would most likely not be necessary in the offseason. Nix was never going to play both games this weekend in a day-night situation so Johnson decided Saturday would be the off day for him.
“An Achilles tendon (injury), I can’t imagine anything worse,” Johnson said. “Hopefully we can nurse him through this. He’s doing great. He got a nice hit last night and we couldn’t get him in but it’s going to be something that’s going to take quite a while to heal up.”
As for Rodriguez, who hit off a tee for the first time on Friday, he took a few swings in the batting cage Saturday afternoon and reported no major issues. The plan, however, has not changed for Rodriguez. With a right oblique strain being a very touchy injury, the Nationals are going to take it slow and cautiously with him.
Rodriguez did say, though, that he doesn’t expect to need a rehab start before he’s ready to return to the active roster. The first day he’d be eligible to come off the disabled list is Friday, July 22.
– There was a little injury news elsewhere for the Nationals as well with the Syracuse Chiefs announcing that Chien-Ming Wang would start for them on Tuesday night in Syracuse. Wang has made four rehab starts to date but none have been above the Double-A level. This represents another step in his return to active duty.
Wang has thrown 18 innings over the four appearances and allowed just two earned runs. In his last start, he threw 75 pitches. His goal this time out will likely be to get that pitch count up to the 90-100 pitch range. Wang will probably make two more starts after this one before his rehab assignment will run out and he’ll need to be activated. Chances are the Nationals would like to see him reach the 90-100 pitch area at least twice before they add him to their rotation.