Aug 16, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT
The Nationals expect to have Jayson Werth back in the lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the Pirates and might even have the veteran outfielder available off the bench tonight.
Werth was due to take a full round of batting practice in the cage underneath the stands at Nationals Park this afternoon and otherwise participated fully in pregame activities, the first time he has done that since receiving a cortisone shot in his ailing right shoulder Tuesday.
“He’s thrown, he’s run, he’s done all the other things,” manager Matt Williams said. “Today is important for him to take some swings, though, and see how he feels. The joint is feeling much better, better every day. And so today is a good test for him to get some swings in and see how he reacts to that.”
If Werth emerged from the hitting session with no issues, he could be used in a pinch-hitting role tonight and is likely to be in the lineup Sunday afternoon.
“We’ll see,” Williams said. “I think he’ll be good, though. Whether it’s available tonight and tomorrow, or if it’s Monday, he should be fine.”
Werth has been out of the lineup seven times in the Nationals’ last eight games with what the outfielder said was diagnosed as inflammation of the AC joint in his shoulder. He managed to start last Sunday night in Atlanta but didn’t look particularly comfortable at the plate.
The cortisone shot should reduce the inflammation and allow Werth to play pain-free, something the Nationals would love to see with their No. 3 hitter swinging a hot bat (he was named NL Player of the Month for July). Whether this issue is something that needs to continue to be monitored over the rest of the season, though, remains to be seen.
“Unless he bangs it again, unless he does something to irritate it again, I don’t anticipate it would be something that would cost him games,” Williams said. “But you never know. If he dives, or if he goes into a wall or something, it could jar that joint a little bit. But I think it’s calmed down pretty well. He’ll be good to go.”
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
WED: Giants at Pirates, 8:07 p.m. (ESPN)
FRI: Game 1, Pirates at Nats, 12:07 p.m.,
OR Giants at Nats, 3:07 p.m. (FS1)
SAT: Game 2, PIT/SF at Nats, 5:37 p.m. (FS1)
MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
OCT. 7: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Game thread: Who will advance in AL Wild Card game?
- Bryce Harper to play showcase in Japan after MLB playoffs
- MLB postseason begins tonight: Wild Card playoff preview
- 5 questions facing the Nationals in the postseason
- Nats finding ways to stay sharp (VIDEO)
- Games 1 and 2 at Nationals Park will be matinees
- Revisiting Opening Day predictions on the Nats
- Zimmermann named NL Player of the Week for 2nd time this year
- Nats' plan to stay fresh before Game 1 of the NLDS
- Denard Span sets Nats hits record to add to special day