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Desmond to DL with oblique tear

Jul 22, 2012, 9:38 PM EDT

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Ian Desmond will miss at least a month, possibly more, with a torn oblique muscle.

Updated at 6:39 p.m.

The Nationals have survived, and even thrived, all season despite a never-ending string of injuries to key players. In only 3 1/2 months, they’ve seen their projected Opening Day catcher, third baseman, left fielder, center fielder, right fielder, utilityman, top pinch-hitter, closer and three backup catchers spend time on the disabled list.

The latest addition to that list — Ian Desmond — may be the toughest to replace of them all.

Desmond will be placed on the 15-day DL with a torn left oblique muscle, manager Davey Johnson announced following today’s 9-2 victory over the Braves. There’s no official timetable for the All-Star shortstop’s return, but injuries of this nature typically take at least a month, often two, to fully heal.

“I know a lot of clubs have been hit,” Johnson said. “But we’ve been lambasted with injuries to key people. … Seems like we’ve had to change roles: bullpen, offensive configuration. Been a rough year in that regard.”
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  1. Will - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    Terrible news. Desmond was our best batter all season, and seemed to not have even peaked this past week.Hopefully a resurgent Zimmerman, Bernadina and Espinosa will make up for the lost offense.

  2. RickH - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Dang.

  3. A DC Wonk - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    (newposted)But, Wonk, if it is Brown, he really takes Lombo's place, as Lombo is now fully committed to 2b. So nobody sits, per se.Arggh. This is frustrating. I've seen that answer, and it's not an answer. Lombo started today, too.An _outfielder_ has to sit!So, let me try to ask the same question the third time using different words:When Brown plays: who are the three who are playing outfield?

  4. Candide - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Brown and Bernie platoon?

  5. Gonat - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Outfield until Werth comes back is a pick 'em of: Morse, Harper, Bernadina, Brown, and Moore

  6. NCNatsie - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Wonk, obviously, I don't have any inside knowledge, mut my assumption is that Brown is the #4 outfielder. When Harper hits a ball off his ankle, Harper sits. If Bernadina goes cold as suddenly as he got hot, he sits. Plus late game situations, double switches, etc.What else could Davy have in mind?

  7. A DC Wonk - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    worst words: but these type of injuries generally take at least a month — often two months — to heal.

  8. The Fox - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Losing Desmond as the team leader will be even bigger than his bat.If Desmond is out 6 to 8 weeks Rizzo will need to find a suitable defensive emergency replacement for SS. If Espinosa gets hurt it could really be very detrimental to this team chances of making the post season. Rizzo does not have to trade for a major leaguer like Marcos Scutaro who would cost a pretty good prospect, and they may not need him, but he should get the best defensive minor league SS he can with a minor league trade.I would still also be interested in picking up a catcher like Miguel Olivo from Seattle who probably would not cost much either.Jesus is wearing down, Davey has to trust Leon enough to play him twice a week or pick up a veteran replacement.

  9. realdealnats - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Wonk–I know this doesn't answer your real question regarding Brown and Moore–but you gotta figure Davey keeps The Shark in the lineup while he's tearing it up, don't you? And Morse just went over .300 today. Maybe you rest The Kids back a bit, and when Bernadina slows down you start working Moore and Brown into the mix? Use both of them to PH until then. Use Moore to spell ALR at first some. But what happens when Werth comes up? And we still need a backup for Espi don't we?

  10. A DC Wonk - Jul 22, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    mick, I'm not sure you comment deserved to be called out . . . but in the spirit of comradeship amongst the NI'ers here, I'd like to offer my critique of the comment:If you're logic is that a second-to-last place teams considers _every_ series as "the most important one", then, actually, all of them are equal, and therefore none of them are "the most important."I would think that the goal of the fourth place team is, first and foremost, to try to move into third place, which would make _that_ series "the most important one" for the Mets.Consider the opposite vantage point. When the Nats were in last or fourth, did we consider any series against the Phils "the most important one?" I know _I_ didn't. I was thinking "let's not get swept." I suspect that when the Mets see who our starting three is, and that they just lost Santana, they're probably thinking "OK, Dickey will get one, maybe we can get one more" — while the Nats are thinking "we got two, let's see if we can sweep."But I don't see this series, for the Mets, as any more important to the Mets than, say, if they were to play the Braves.

  11. Gonat - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Amanda Comak ‏@acomak Took DeRosa 6wks to get over oblique. Desmond-"He's an old guy. I'm still in pretty good shape. Hoping it's a little bit quicker than 6wks."

  12. A DC Wonk - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    realdealnats said… Wonk– I know this doesn't answer your real question regarding Brown and Moore–but you gotta figure Davey keeps The Shark in the lineup while he's tearing it up, don't you? And Morse just went over .300 today. Maybe you rest The Kids back a bit, and when Bernadina slows down you start working Moore and Brown into the mix? Use both of them to PH until then. Use Moore to spell ALR at first some. But what happens when Werth comes up? And we still need a backup for Espi don't we?realdealnats: that's actually exactly what I was thinking. I know it's heresy to suggest "spell The Kid", but he does look a bit tired from time to time — and Bernadina and Morse are too darn hot to spell right now.But that thinking seems pretty out of the box, and so I thought there must be some other sensible solution (sit down the white hot Shark?) that I was missing.Well — if anything — you validated my thinking. Whether than makes us both idiots or not I'll leave others to judge ;-)Thanks

  13. A DC Wonk - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Took DeRosa 6wks to get over oblique. Desmond-"He's an old guy. I'm still in pretty good shape. Hoping it's a little bit quicker than 6wks." There _is_ truth to that. Anybody who is now DeRosa's age or older knows "true dat."

  14. Bigfish - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Do the Nats have a strength coach, & if so, could there be something in his/her exercise program that's contributing to all the oblique problems? Or are we just seeing some freak-ish coincidences?

  15. Gonat - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Corey Brown was pulled out of the Syracuse game and on his way to NYM

  16. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Interesting questions about Brown, but Davey must have something in mind. Lombo is needed in the infield, and so will no longer be available for the OF. Nady and Ankiel are gone. Morse plays out there, but he is, frankly, terrible, especially in RF. DeRosa is even worse, and is also needed for IF utility duties.They may want Brown as a late game defensive replacement in CF, moving the starter, probably Shark, to LF, with Harper in RF. Much stronger D from those 3 than with either Morse, DeRosa or Lombo out there, especially Morse and DeRosa. And Brown has the best power hitting stats of anyone in the organization. Davey likes power bats as PHs late in the game. And if anyone gets hurt or slumps out there, Brown is the best alternative as a replacement OF. Suppose Werth comes back but has trouble re-adjusting. Brown is a very good insurance policy.I also think they want to see what they've got in Brown. Suppose they have decided not to resign ALR. Then Morse moves to first next year, opening up an OF spot. Or maybe they trade Morse for, say, a middle infielder. Would be nice to know how well Brown can perform in the bigs before deciding anything. It's a smart move, with nothing to lose and a lot to gain, long-term. Oh, let's not forget all the talk earlier in the year about the FA market for CFers, like Michael Bourne. They can have a power-hitting CFer in Brown, instead of a leadoff guy like Bourne, for a lot less money, and with, potentially, a much bigger payoff – say a 20-20 guy who knocks in 80 RBI and can run the bases, too, plus shore up the hole in the OF D that Ankiel's departure left them with.Brown's promotion is a no-brainer, for a lot of reasons. Brown has been injured during his first 2 years with the team, and has seen guys with stats less impressive than his promoted to the bigs ahead of him. He must be as hungry as a grizzly coming out of hibernation, with a lot to prove. A hungry guy with talent and something to prove can't hurt.

  17. Section 222 - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Brown is our best minor league hitter at this point, so he's coming up with Desi going down. He'll do pinch hitting duty and perhaps get a start or two a week to spell any of the other starting outfielders — Morse, Bam-Bam, and Bernadina/Moore. There's no real point to bringing up a middle infielder who can't hit, since we're not looking for someone to start games. If Espi or Lombo gets hurt during a game, we'll muddle through with DeRosa as the first MI off the bench. If Espi gets seriously hurt before Desi returns, we'll need to find a SS somewhere, because Lombo can't really handle that position on more than an emergency basis. When Werth returns, Brown or Moore goes back to Syracuse.

  18. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    You can't pull a muscle if you don't have any, has always been my strategy.

  19. NatsLady - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Wow, Oakland just tied it up against the Yanks in the bottom of the ninth. They could sweep.

  20. Swift Eagle - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    There really is no back up SS…Stay healthy Danny…

  21. ehay2k - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Is it possible that the OF will be Shark, Harp, and Brown, and that Rizzo is making a move to break up the logjam at 1b? I really do think Morse is the odd man out there, with a younger and defensively superior Moore in the wings and ALR needed this year for bat and glove, and perhaps next as a mentor.Having said that, Morse looked a LOT better in LF today than he did I RF. Mick, see my post at the end of the previous thread if you haven't already.

  22. TimDz - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Reposting from prior thread….Don't know if this has been stated before (and I don't think it will be a popular statement if it hasn't been said before):I think it is entirely possible that the Nats sell high on the shark to get pitching. I am not sure if he is finally getting it or is just on a tear. What do you smarter Insiders think?

  23. DaveB - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    If Espi goes down, I would think that Zach Walters would get a shot until/unless Rizzo makes a trade. Rivero is on the 40 man, but Zach has been hot and will probably need to be added to the 40 man this year anyway.

  24. natsfan1a - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Oh #$^@#$!!

  25. djinFl. - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    I do not see the need for another pitcher. The prices are crazy, and our need questionable. We are still a year ahead of our expectations.I am hoping that Bernie has finally has learned what it takes to play in the big leagues.Our cheer for him this weekend was "play like you belong", which he did. I hope it continues.

  26. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    "I am not sure if he is finally getting it or is just on a tear."Good question, but I don't think anybody knows, not even Bernie. He has done this before, and then regressed. It would be great if he can keep it up. He seems to be a lot more selective and seems to have stopped trying to be the next Willie Stargell, and just be the Shark. So far, the Shark is looking really good for the last month.

  27. sjm308 - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Obviously it is not a good thing to lose Desmond this late in the season (I realize there has been some back and forth about stating the obvious but I think I am not in the cross-hairs on this battle).I have now seen posts telling me Rivera is on the 40 man but not a SS and not a plus defender. It would appear that we will need someone who can play defense at sometime in the next month. I love Espinosa and it looks like Lombardozi is more then adequate at 2nd. Can DeRosa handle the few games we will need to rest these two?, or do we need to make a move? I will await the answers and hopefully everyone can get back to talking baseball instead of worrying about who is piling on who. I am still off the in-game posts but the instant analysis has now become a battle ground as well. I get much more out of this site when it concentrates on BASEBALL and less on "who said what and why it was said".Go Nats!!

  28. A DC Wonk - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Last two games: we've gained two games on Braves, Marlins, and Mets. (and one against last place Philllies,who are now 14 behind)

  29. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    @TimDz: Interesting point on the Shark, but I can't see selling him now. He's probably the best pure athlete on the team. He gives you a few things that the Nats sorely lack, namely speed. And defense. With Ankiel gone, he's the fourth OF option. But he's got to start until this torrid streak wanes.And besides, I'm not so sure what he brings. Does a two-week hot streak raise his value sufficiently to sell now? Plus, there's the team chemistry thing. I can't see busting up what is now an integral part of the 25-man to take a flyer on somebody else.Shark stays, but your question is legit.

  30. joemktg - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Nats Marketing needs to run a new promo: Cortisone Shot Day. First 10000 through the CF gates get a commemorative Nats hypodermic needle.

  31. A DC Wonk - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    …and this is the latest the Nats have ever been in first. Just sayin'

  32. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 22, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    "When Werth returns, Brown or Moore goes back to Syracuse."Maybe. Or maybe they shed one of their 8 BP guys. Davey said during ST that he would prefer to have 6 guys in the BP, not the usual 7, and now he's got 8 of them. His feeling, at the time, was that he preferred to have an extra power guy off the bench than an extra relief guy in the pen.When he goes into the post-season, the need for so many pitchers goes down, and the need for lineup flexibility goes up. By the end of August, we will be close enough to the post-season to see how they want to play it, and with whom.

  33. natsfan1a - Jul 22, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Excellent, Smithers, er, sec3. :-)Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said… You can't pull a muscle if you don't have any, has always been my strategy. July 22, 2012 6:46 PM

  34. Another_Sam - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    1a — LOL. I've avoided muscle injuries in the same manner you describe.

  35. mick - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    wonk and ehay2kthank you

  36. MicheleS - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    1A said…Oh #$^@#$!! I second that! This is just great! just about the time we are getting healthy another one bites the dust.Take care of yourself and get healthy Ian!

  37. JaneB - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Sofa, you made me snort wine out my nose. Good thing it was white. I admit to shedding actual tears when I heard about Desi. Not weeping, but tears. My question: and I know there is someone of my Imaginary Friends who is a physical therapist, or at least talks like one:Did DeRosa TEAR his oblique? I thought they didn't repair, but needed surgery and that is why RZimm had to be out last year. Am I remembering that right? If so, why not do the surgery NOW? Why wait for two weeks, if its a categorical tear?If anyone can come back fast, it's Ian Desmond. As long as they let him stay in the clubhouse, he will still be noticing the little stuff he's so good at spotting and able to pass it on somehow. And if he is on the DL on August 31, he still gets to play the rest of 2012, right?Happy for Brown — sounds like he deserves it.I don't agree we go get a rent a shortstop.

  38. SonnyG10 - Jul 23, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    One thing on the shark's hot streak. It seems to have started when DeRosa suggested he go to a smaller bat (i.e. lighter in weight and I think, shorter also. FP mentioned this during the broadcast the other day. Maybe this has something to do with Bernie's success.

  39. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 23, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Sonny, as I recall, FP said DeRosa recommended a lighter bat, but I don't recall shorter.

  40. Jimmy - Jul 23, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Man this has been a rough season. I maintain the position that any success we experience this year is a bonus, as the team is clearly built for next year and beyond. That said, by the shear law of averages, we should be close to 100% healthy for the entire season in 2013, and borderline unstoppable. 100 wins very realistic. Look what we've done with half the team on the DL.

  41. realdealnats - Jul 23, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    Wonk @ 6:03–Thanks backatcha.

  42. Schumatrix - Jul 23, 2012 at 5:21 AM

    I mean, if worse comes to worse, Zimmerman DID play shortstop all the way through his years at UVA. His throwing would still be an issue, but in the case of an injury to Espinosa you could play Zim at the 6 and have Tracy or DeRosa play the 5. I mean, I'm talking worst-possible scenario here.On another note, it's absolutely heartbreaking to see Desi go down with the year he's been having, and I still can't believe that the injury bug has bitten (read: mortally wounded) this team and they're STILL in first place. That's definitely a testament to how Davey's managed this team, and how incredible our pitching has been.

  43. Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Davey played second most of the time. He'd have to be added to the 40-man, though.

  44. rabbit34 - Jul 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Crap. When is Werth supposed to return?

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NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
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PHILADELPHIA 70 83 19.0
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Through Friday's early games

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LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-----------------------
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PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
Through Friday's early games

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