After spending much of the season trying to fill vacancies created by injuries, the Nationals are about to get a couple of key veterans back from the disabled list.
Both Chad Tracy and Jayson Werth are expected to be activated off the DL during this week's homestand, with Tracy perhaps joining the active roster as soon as tomorrow.
Werth probably needs a few more days on his rehab assignment with Class AAA Syracuse, though the outfielder (who broke his left wrist on May 6) has begun to swing a hot bat. After going hitless in his first 12 at-bats, he enters tonight's game against Lehigh Valley having reached base in six of his last eight plate appearances with three singles, a double and two walks.
Werth has played seven total games on rehab, and both he and the Nationals prefer he spend a bit more time getting his timing down before he comes off the DL. That move could happen in time for this weekend's four-game series against the Marlins.
Tracy, meanwhile, is 6-for-9 with a homer and three RBI over the last three days with Syracuse. He's appeared in 11 total games with Syracuse and Class A Potomac, hitting a combined .333 with five RBI.
The most-productive pinch-hitter in the majors before he needed surgery in late-May to repair a sports hernia, Tracy could give the Nationals another potent bat off the bench if he returns in time for tomorrow's series opener against the Phillies.
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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