Jayson Werth made it through last night's game in spite of looking a bit beat up out in the field, and he's back in the lineup tonight for the second game of three with the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. Also back to face the D-Backs? Ryan Zimmerman, just as Davey Johnson told reporters after last night's game. And starting in left tonight is Tyler Moore, who was called back up from Triple-A Syracuse when Dan Haren was placed on the DL.
Johnson talked about the importance of getting Moore's bat back before last night's game, saying it gave him, "... another bat that I can use in the outfield with a little more pop." Johnson reminded reporters that the team did the same thing with Moore last year when he struggled after making his debut, and when he came back, Johnson said, "[Moore] had quality at bats from the get-go." With all the health issues the Nationals are currently dealing with, Johnson said, "... the more bodies I can get the better. And with a couple pretty good left-handers coming up, he'll get some at bats up here."
The first of those "pretty good" left-handers the Nationals will face is D-Backs' lefty Wade Miley, who's actually getting hit pretty hard by batters on both sides of the plate this season with right-handers posting a .272/.345/.444 line against the 26-year-old starter and lefties at .325/.357/.488 so far this year. Of course, the Nationals have an NL-worst (tied with the Marlins) .214 AVG against lefties to go along with a .279 OBP (15th of 15) and .332 SLG (also 15th of 15) against left-handed pitchers this year.
Here's the Nats' lineup that will take on Miley tonight in the nation's capital:
Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 26, 2013
The Nationals manager also told reporters this afternoon that another right-handed bat might be on his way back. Apparently Wilson Ramos is getting close to starting a rehab assignment:
Wilson Ramos getting close to playing in games. Davey hopeful he will be back w #nats by July 4. Could be playing games in Fl. tmrw or Fri— Amanda Comak (@acomak) June 26, 2013
Davey hopeful Wilson Ramos could be back from DL around July 4. Currently in Viera catching and hitting.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) June 26, 2013
Ramos hasn't played since May 15th when the second hamstring injury of the year put him on the DL. The 25-year-old catcher had a .250/.308/.438 line over 52 plate appearances before he went down. In his absence, Kurt Suzuki's gotten the bulk of the work, but he has just a .212/.279/.304 line with nine doubles and two home runs in 56 games and 205 PAs.
The return of Ramos, Bryce Harper, the resurgence of Tyler Moore and a hopefully healthy Jayson Werth? Can the 38-38 Nationals start to get something going and finally string some wins together?