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Strasburg takes big step in rehab; updates on Rendon and Werth

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Strasburg takes big step in rehab; updates on Rendon and Werth

Stephen Strasburg threw off a mound in a bullpen session for the first time since landing on the disabled list at Nationals Park on Tuesday. The right-hander is rehabbing a strained left oblique and tossed 30 pitches.

"[It was] light. Threw a couple of breaking balls. Fastballs and changeups, and had no issues. So, that’s a good sign," Matt Williams said. "We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. I would imagine some general body soreness tomorrow after being off a little while and getting back on the slope, but he had no pain throwing. That’s a good sign."

Williams indicated Strasburg - who has been on the DL since July 5 - will need another bullpen session before he is ready to begin a minor league rehab assignment.

"Depends on how he feels. It was a light bullpen today for the first one. I wouldn't necessarily expect that we'd throw him right into a game. We'll see where he is tomorrow, though, and have a better idea," he said.

Strasburg was removed from his July 4 start against the San Francisco Giants after feeling discomfort in his side. He has a 5.16 ERA through 13 games this season.

Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman are progressing through their own rehab assignments this week. Rendon (left quad strain) went 1-for-3 with two walks with the Single-A Potomac Nationals on Tuesday. It was his third minor league game in this particular rehab stint.

Williams expects Rendon to play at least five innings on Wednesday as he works towards playing a full game, which will be considered the final step in his recovery.

"We'd like him to get nine innings again. But he's scheduled to go again tomorrow. That's at least five, depending on how he feels. So he's not that far off from playing nine," he said.

Werth (broken left wrist) will play again with Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday night. He has had 11 plate appearances (10 ABs) through four minor league games so far. Williams explained how much longer it may take until Werth is ready to return.

"50 at-bats would be ideal, but I don’t think he’ll be able to get 50 at-bats. It just takes too long. Can’t afford to have him out that long when he’s healthy," Williams said. "The wrist is fine, he’s building strength in that. The legs are good. But the last thing you want is for the wrist to be OK and he’s not fully in shape and something happens and he pulls a muscle and then goes down again."

Zimmerman (plantar fasciitis) will continue his rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg, who take on the New Hamsphire Fisher Cats on Tuesday night.

 

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE