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Werth suffers apparent serious injury

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Werth suffers apparent serious injury

Jayson Werth appeared to seriously injure his left wrist trying to make a sliding catch in right field during the sixth inning of tonight's nationally televised game, a potentially major blow to a Nationals club already reeling from the loss of several key players.

Werth charged in hard from his position trying to catch Placido Polanco's sinking liner and nearly made the play. But his glove hand got twisted up badly in the process, his wrist bending backward.

Werth was barely able to get to his feet and throw the ball back toward the infield, then collapsed in the heap on the ground as a trainer and manager Davey Johnson raced from the dugout to check on him. He walked off the field under his own power but was carefully holding his left wrist and arm in place.

If Werth misses significant time, the Nationals would have yet another key position to attempt to fill. They've been without left fielder and cleanup man Michael Morse since Opening Day due to a lat muscle injury that will sideline Morse for at least another month. They've also been without third baseman and No. 3 hitter Ryan Zimmerman for the last two weeks due to right shoulder inflammation. And they've been without first baseman Adam LaRoche the last four days due to a sore oblique muscle.

Zimmerman and LaRoche are both expected to return Tuesday for the start of the Nationals' series in Pittsburgh, so that will help compensate some for the anticipated loss of Werth.

The Nationals, though, will have to find a suitable replacement in right field, with rookie Bryce Harper a strong candidate to shift from left field. Johnson could then use some combination of Roger Bernadina, Xavier Nady, Tyler Moore and Steve Lombardozzi in left field.

Werth, in the second year of a seven-year, 126 million contract with the Nationals, is no stranger to left wrist injuries. His career nearly ended in 2006 due to a ligament that split in half, though he hadn't dealt with any wrist issues the last six years.

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

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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.

RELATED: BRYCE HARPER THANKS NATIONALS' FANS FOR SUPPORT

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Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy undergoes successful knee surgery

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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.

RELATED: HARPER THANKS FANS FOR SUPPORT