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Werth, Zimmerman activated off DL

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Werth, Zimmerman activated off DL

The Nationals will have two of their key injured veterans back in the lineup Tuesday night in Miami, with both left fielder Jayson Werth and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman activated off the disabled list in time for the club's series opener with the Marlins.

To clear roster space for the returning regulars, the Nationals optioned outfielder Matt den Dekker to Class AAA Syracuse and outrighted Emmanuel Burriss to Syracuse after the infielder cleared waivers.

With Werth and Zimmerman now off the DL, and with Anthony Rendon having returned from his own injury over the weekend in Pittsburgh, the Nationals will take the field Tuesday with seven healthy regulars for the first time since May 15, when Werth was hit by a pitch in San Diego and fractured two small bones in his left wrist.

The Nationals have not yet fielded a complete lineup with eight healthy regulars this season, and that still won't happen until Denard Span returns from a lingering back injury. The center fielder and leadoff man has spent the last 2 1/2 weeks on the DL and has yet to be cleared for full baseball activities.

Werth returns nearly 2 1/2 months since suffering his fractures, the third time he has missed significant time with a left wrist injury in his career. The 36-year-old played nine rehab games between Class A Potomac and Class AAA Syracuse, going 11-for-30 with two doubles, seven RBI, two walks and two strikeouts.

Werth, who missed the season’s first week while recovering from offseason surgery on his left shoulder, was hitting only .208 with two homers, 12 RBI and a .294 on-base percentage in 27 games when he suffered the wrist injury. But he had just begun to find his stroke prior to that, hitting .313 with two homers and a .910 OPS over his final nine games.

Zimmerman had been on the DL since June 9, when lingering plantar fasciitis in his left foot became too painful to continue to play. The 30-year-old had been trying to play through the ailment since late April and saw his batting average plummet to .209 with a .265 on-base percentage and .611 OPS that left him the majors' least-productive first baseman.

Zimmerman appeared in five games with Class AA Harrisburg while on rehab last week, going 1-for-15 with three strikeouts.

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Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- Outfielder Brian Goodwin has been acquired by the Kansas City Royals from the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan.

The 27-year-old Goodwin hit .200 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 48 games for the Nationals this season. He bruised his left wrist diving for a ball and did not play from April 15 until May 15, when he had two at-bats. He went back on the disabled list, returned June 1 and is hitting .171 (7 for 41) since.

Condra-Bogan, 23, went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 16 relief outings with Lexington of the South Atlantic League and one appearance with Wilmington of the Carolina League, also Class A.

The trade was announced Sunday.

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What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

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USA Today Sports

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer had a heated exchange in the Nationals dugout Friday night.

It was another not-so-great moment in an otherwise unspectacular season for the Nats so far.

Things like this often appear worse than they are based on what we can see, not hear, on television. In any case, it has fans and pundits talking about a perceived off-the-field issue instead of the actual game. There's nothing "good" about this, but there are important factors that are "bad" and ones that are "not bad."

Davey Martinez, Strasburg and Scherzer already said this has been settled and wasn't a big deal in the first place, but for a manager who's already faced some scrutiny this year for how he manages his pitchers, having two of them go at it in the dugout isn't ideal.

It also doesn't present the best optics for a team that came out of the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals need to build some momentum heading into the dog days of summer, and after a lackluster first half, this isn't how anybody would want to start the second half.

This was also Strasburg's first start back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. Ryan Zimmerman just rejoined the club as well. Things are shaping up to make for a solid second-half run, but all this does is detract from that.

The Nationals also just hosted the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. Having something like this happen in the dugout where everybody can see it takes away from some of that good publicity.

But there are also positives, or at least non-negatives, to take from this. Scherzer has always been ultracompetitive, and as the best pitcher on the staff, he needs to harness that into leadership. With Strasburg coming off a rough inning, Scherzer may have thought he needed a little tough love from a veteran. There's nothing wrong with that. Strasburg, to his credit, has never been one to focus too much on himself, so if there's anyone who can take something like this constructively, it'd be him.

This isn't Jonathan Paplebon fighting Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly the day after the Nats were eliminated from playoff contention. These are two veteran guys who play the same position who are both competitive and want to win. It's akin to an older brother pushing his younger brother to do better. Strasburg even hinted at the family aspect after the game.

In the end, there's really nothing to see here. Frustration is part of the game. Talking it out is a part of remedying the frustration.

What really matters is tracking down the Braves and the Phillies. The Nationals can get started on that Sunday in the second game of a rain-shortened two-game series against the Braves.

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