The Nationals will place Ian Desmond on the 15-day disabled list with a tear of his left oblique muscle, an injury the All-Star shortstop had been playing through but will now require an extended period of rest.
Manager Davey Johnson couldn't put an exact timetable for Desmond to return to the Nationals lineup, but these type of injuries generally take at least a month -- often two months -- to heal.
Desmond has been dealing with the injury since at least mid-June but had been playing the best all-around baseball of his career, hitting .286 with 17 homers and 53 RBI in 89 games.
"That just shows you how tough he is," Johnson said following today's 9-2 win over the Braves.
Desmond's loss will force the Nationals to shift Danny Espinosa to shortstop and Steve Lombardozzi to second base for an extended period of time. Johnson said veteran utilityman Mark DeRosa would become the backup infielder.
The Nationals will promote a player from Class AAA Syracuse before tomorrow's game in New York. Outfielder Corey Brown is the most likely choice, Johnson said.'
More to come...
The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018.
Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.
Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.
The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.
Only the Marlins have had as many.
"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker told USA TODAY Sports. "They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me."
"I really thought this was my best year. We won at least 95 games each year and won the division back to back years but they said they wanted to go a different direction. It's hard to understand."
The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.
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While Nats fans were still digesting the news that Dusty Baker will not return as manager next year, the team released some more surprising news.
Second baseman Daniel Murphy underwent knee surgery today, per an official team report.
Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes reported that the surgery is considered significant and the team won't put a timeline on the recovery process:
"The procedure, according to the statement released by the team, repaired articular cartilage in Murphy’s right knee. For those interested in the details, it was a debridement and microfracture surgery, and orthopedic surgeon Timothy Kremchek performed it."
"For those concerned with the implications of the procedure, those are still unclear. The statement clarified that Murphy’s rehab “will progress throughout the offseason,” as one would hope, and did not include a timetable.
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