By Rich Dubroff
CSNwashington.comShortly before Thursday's game, the Nationals announced that Henry Rodriguez was headed to the 15-day disabled list with a strained right index finger. Brad Lidge had such a successful rehab outing on Wednesday that he was reactivated a few days ahead of schedule.I did talk to Lidge, and he is feeling great, manager Davey Johnson said before the move was announced.Lidge, who pitched a scoreless inning onWednesday night for Potomac against Frederick had been out with a sports hernia since Apr. 22. He had been scheduled to pitch for the P-Nats on Friday and then be reactivated.Rodriguez is 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA. He had nine saves in 12 chances.Lidge has two saves and a 5.14 ERA in seven appearances.Ryan Mattheus went through pitchers fielding practice, and came through it well, Johnson said. Mattheus has been out since May 21 with plantar fascitis in his right foot.
He actually says he feels better pitching on his foot now than he did at any time in the previous two months, Johnson said.Mattheus will pitch a simulated game on Friday and pitch in a minor league game on Sunday.Hes way ahead of schedule, Johnson said.Utilityman Mark DeRosa is about to go on a rehab assignment, Johnson said. His left oblique strain is lingering, but DeRosa told Johnson he can play through it. DeRosa has been on the DL since April 28.
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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