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Nationals' Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos win 2016 Silver Slugger Awards

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Nationals' Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos win 2016 Silver Slugger Awards

Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy and catcher Wilson Ramos were announced as Silver Slugger Award winners Thursday night. This is both player's first time winning the award, and they're the first Nationals at those positions to win the award.

Murphy and Ramos are the 11th and 12th Nationals to win a Silver Slugger, and they extended Washington's streak of having at least one player win the award to five seasons. The Nats are the only team in the National League to boast at least one Silver Slugger in each of the past five seasons.


Murphy led the NL in slugging percentage (.595), doubles (47) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.985). He finished second in batting average (.347), plate appearances per strikeout (10.21), strikeout percentage (9.8%) and go-ahead RBI (31), and he placed in the top five in total RBI (104), hits (184) and multi-hit games (56). He's also a finalist for the NL MVP award, which will be announced Nov. 17.

Murphy's 2016 batting average was the best in Nationals history, and his hits and doubles totals tied Nationals records. He topped NL second baseman in slugging percentage, doubles and RBI, and he was an All-Star. He also earned a spot in the history books alongside Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby as the only other second baseman to record 25 home runs and 104 RBI with at least a .347 batting average and .595 slugging percentage. 

Ramos suffered an ACL injury on Sept. 26 that ended his season, but his 22 home runs, 80 RBI, 25 doubles, 148 hits, .307 batting average, .496 slugging percentage and .850 OPS were all career highs.

Ramos paced all NL catchers in slugging percentage, and he made his first career All-Star appearance. He also had the third best NL catcher ERA with a 3.45.

Ramos is currently a free agent, and because of his knee injury, the Nationals decided against making him a $17.2 million qualifying offer. 


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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.