For much of the first two months of the season it seemed Nationals manager Davey Johnson’s pre-game sessions with reporters would consist of exclusively injury updates. If it wasn’t Michael Morse it was Drew Storen. If it wasn’t Ryan Zimmerman it was Jayson Werth. If it wasn’t Wilson Ramos it was Sandy Leon. If it wasn’t Mark DeRosa it was Chad Tracy.
Finally, though, Johnson has been able to give some positive updates as the Nationals’ walking wounded work their way back into shape.
“The good news is the M.A.S.H troops are kinda coming around,” Johnson said Tuesday. “Instead of seeing the casts on their ankles and wrists and tubes coming out of their stomachs … I’d go in the training room and every table would be full. Not that I was looking to get on one, but it was always a full house. And went through the other day and everyone was walking around there in the weight room. That was nice.”
So without further ado, a few of those updates:
Jayson Werth: The Nationals’ right fielder saw the doctors this past weekend and they said his broken left wrist checked out OK. It was healing very well, they told Werth. On Monday, Werth told Johnson he was probably about a month away and the doctors said he was “probably a little ahead of schedule.”
The timetable for Werth hasn’t changed much, though. Right now, Johnson said, late July is optimistic and early August is more likely.
“He’s still probably not going to be able to do anything until a pretty good ways past the All-Star break,” Johnson said. “The injury was so severe with that plate in there, it’s going to have to be fully healed before he can do any baseball stuff.
Mark DeRosa: The veteran utility man has been out since late April with a left oblique strain but it was the unfortunate death of his father, Jack that has kept him away from the team for the better part of the last month. DeRosa rejoined the Nationals on Tuesday and Johnson said he will head out to Single-A Potomac for a rehab assignment in short order.
DeRosa worked out with the Nationals on Tuesday and could begin his rehab assignment as soon as Wednesday but Single-A Potomac is on its All-Star break until Thursday.
Chad Tracy: Tracy, who had surgery to repair a torn adductor muscle on May 31, has reached the rough half-way point of his recovery and is progressing well. He’s played catch for four days and has also been swinging a bat with relative ease. He said Tuesday that he’s shooting to go out and play in some rehab games during the Nationals’ All-Star break. Tracy still leads all of major league baseball with nine* pinch-hit RBIs.
“He’s doing better than I thought he’d be doing,” Johnson said. “The doctor did say he could do baseball stuff. So I look for him probably shortly after the All-Star break. He might be pretty close to being back.
*One note: There has been some discrepancy in the number of pinch hit RBIs Tracy has this year. On Baseball-Reference.com, Tracy’s player page lists him as having seven but among the league leaders he is listed as having nine. According to the official stats the Nationals keep, Tracy has nine. Either way he leads MLB.
Drew Storen: Storen threw another bullpen on Monday while the team was off and pitching coach Steve McCatty said it went well. Johnson said the plan for Storen now is to throw a few more bullpens and then begin facing hitters, most likely in a simulated game or with live batting practice, before he ends up on a rehab assignment.
“The All-Star break is not out of the question for him,” Johnson said.