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Nationals announce playoff roster for NLDS vs. Dodgers

Nationals announce playoff roster for NLDS vs. Dodgers

The Nationals announced their 25-man playoff roster for their NL Division Series against the Dodgers on Friday morning and on it are a few surprises. Michael Taylor has earned the final outfielder spot, while Oliver Perez made it as the final reliever, while Matt Belisle was left off the roster entirely.

The Nationals will carry 14 position players and 11 pitchers. They need extra man power due to injuries in their lineup. By keeping Taylor and rookie infielder Wilmer Difo, they were well-positioned if Daniel Murphy (buttock) or Jayson Werth (back) aggravate their injuries or need to be replaced on defense or on base late in games.

Taylor is definitely the biggest shocker, as many had focused on Ben Revere and Brian Goodwin for the last outfield spot. Revere has the track record and Goodwin flashed promise down the stretch. But in Taylor, they have a guy who is decent vs. lefties - he had a .755 OPS - and the Dodgers feature some pretty good ones in their rotation. He can also play multiple outfield positions and brings speed as a pinch-runner. 

Belisle was excluded just over a week after manager Dusty Baker hinted he was a safe bet for the roster. Baker spoke of Belisle in terms of getting him ready for the postseason and how much guys like him can be used in the playoffs. Belisle posted a 1.76 ERA in 40 appearances this season.

Here's the full roster:





RHP Shawn Kelley

C Jose Lobaton

INF Stephen Drew

OF Bryce Harper

RHP Reynaldo Lopez

C Pedro Severino

INF Wilmer Difo

OF Chris Heisey

RHP Mark Melancon


INF Danny Espinosa

OF Michael A. Taylor

RHP Tanner Roark


INF Daniel Murphy

OF Trea Turner

RHP Joe Ross


INF Anthony Rendon

OF Jayson Werth

RHP Max Scherzer


1B/OF Clint Robinson


RHP Blake Treinen


1B Ryan Zimmerman


LHP Gio Gonzalez




LHP Marc Rzepczynski




LHP Oliver Perez




LHP Sammy Solis



[RELATED: Murphy looking good for Game 1 vs. Dodgers: 'I feel confident']

The Dodgers, by the way, are also going with an 11-14 split. Here is their playoff roster:

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Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?


Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

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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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery


Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

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.