- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
- Law firm that cleared N.J. Gov. Christie in ‘Bridgegate’ gave 10K to RGA, which he heads
- PETA ‘hopping mad’ at Michelle Obama for using real eggs at Easter Egg Roll
- Sneaky Nebraska toddler traps self inside claw machine game
- Biden to lead $600 million work force training effort
- Atheists’ Easter taunt to Christians: ‘Jesus is a myth’
- Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas City show
Ian Desmond could return to Nationals’ lineup Friday
Shortstop may not need to go on minor league rehab assignment
SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals manager Davey Johnson was sitting in his office Tuesday afternoon while shortstop Ian Desmond took to the field at AT&T Park for early batting practice. On Monday, he’d successfully gone through his first full baseball workout since going on the disabled list July 22 with a left oblique strain. Tuesday’s early hitting was the next step.
As Desmond and hitting coach Rick Eckstein came back into the clubhouse after Tuesday’s session, they walked into Johnson’s office and Desmond told him, “I’m hurt.” In a season in which the Nationals seem to have dealt with a new injury to a key player every day, Johnson feared the worst.
“How bad is it?” he asked his All-Star shortstop.
“My ears are hurting so bad from that loud sound coming off my bat,” Desmond said, his manager realizing the joke they’d gotten over on him.
Johnson laughed about it later, elated that Desmond was continuing to progress in his rehab. Desmond will go through the same workout before Wednesday afternoon’s game in San Francisco and then he will play in a simulated game at Nationals Park on Thursday.
If all goes well and the Nationals decide against a rehab assignment, Desmond could be back in the lineup on Friday when the team opens a three-game series with the New York Mets.
“Unless [Nationals general manager] Mike Rizzo ties my hands on it, I’m going to activate him,” Johnson said. “I’ll keep my fingers crossed. We got a ways to go.”
The Nationals have not decided yet whether Desmond will go on a rehab assignment to see some minor league pitching before returning to the active roster. Johnson intimated on Monday that he’d prefer the shortstop slot right back into his lineup, saying, “As long as you’re healthy and your stroke is fine, which his stroke is absolutely, he’ll catch up pretty quick. I don’t think it’s going to help his timing to be timing guys in [Single-A] Potomac who throw 100 and don’t throw it over.”
Regardless of whether they decide to send him on a rehab assignment, it’s clear that Desmond’s return is fairly imminent.
“It’s a good sign,” Johnson said. “He’s a horse. He wants to come back and I want him back. We all want him back. Even though [Danny Espinosa] and [Steve Lombardozzi] have done a great job anchoring the infield in his absence, it’ll be nice to have him back and be close to full strength.”
Right-hander Chien-Ming Wang will throw to Desmond in the planned simulated game on Thursday, Johnson said, allowing the Nationals to get a look at Wang, who has been on the disabled list since July 3 with a right hip strain. Wang was recently pulled off his rehab assignment because the soreness had returned in that hip.
“[Pitching coach] Steve McCatty wants to see him and check on his delivery,” Johnson said. “He was going to throw a [rehab] game around [D.C.], so we were killing two birds with one stone. I think his hip’s feeling a little bit better.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- EDITORIAL: Intolerance at Brandeis silences Muslim dissident Hirsi Ali
- Kirsten Dunst: Actress sparks feminist ire: 'You need a man to be a man'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.