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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals In Atlanta Weekend Wrap-Up - Jayson Werth Expected To Return

The Washington Nationals fell to a game under .500 with Sunday afternoon's loss to the Atlanta Braves in Turner Field. Now they return home to the nation's capital to start a three-game set with the New York Mets. Jayson Werth's expected to be back in the lineup tomorrow night...

Scott Cunningham

Adam LaRoche summed the current state of the Washington Nationals up quite succinctly after Sunday afternoon's loss to the Atlanta Braves in Turner Field. "We deserve to be where we're at right now," the Nats' first baseman told reporters. "We've played like crap. And still not in awful shape. We're pretty deep into the season, so we've got to get it going or we won't be there in the end. I don't sense any panic, anybody stressing over it, but it would be nice to pick it up a little." Davey Johnson said the offense really needed to get going and said he thought the impending return of Jayson Werth could provide a shot in the arm. The Potomac Nationals announced this morning that Werth's rehab assignment had ended, so he should return to the lineup for tomorrow night's game with the New York Mets. LaRoche said that could make a big difference. "It will be big," LaRoche said. "It will be big. I mean, just having him in there. You always hear about guys and just their presence in the lineup. But, he's a guy that can wreak some havoc on the bases. Great defender. And he's got a knack for getting on base, that's what we need right now." LaRoche is absolutely right about that last point. The Nats' .287 OBP as a team is now the worst in the majors... Monday off day links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!

• THE BIG STORY!!!: (Today In Two Parts):

• via Twitter:

• "The Nationals have yet to rule out [Stephen] Strasburg making his next start, but given general guidelines for lat strains that seems to be either unrealistic or risky." - "Nationals ‘overly optimistic’ about Stephen Strasburg lat strain, says one medical official" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• NATS BEAT (Monday Morning):

• "What Werth will bring to the table, though, are two things the Nationals have sorely been lacking since he last played May 2..." - "The impact of Werth's return" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "The Nationals began this series with an uplifting victory, in spite of Stephen Strasburg’s exit with a lat strain." - "Stormy days: Latest loss to Braves drops Nationals below .500" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "No Nationals hitters have sunk to the offensive depths of Danny Espinosa, but one of them can sympathize." - "Adam LaRoche knows what Danny Espinosa is going through" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "A new owner would essentially separate MASN and Angelos from the Nationals by creating a new regional sports network." - "MLB seeks creative solution to MASN rights fees dispute between Nationals, Orioles" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• NATS BEAT (Weekend In Review):

• "There are 105 games remaining in the season. That's plenty of time to overcome the deficit in the division and make a run, for sure. But [Adam] LaRoche, for one, is starting to get a little antsy..." - "Nationals Pastime: LaRoche: 'We deserve to be where we're at right now'" - Dan Kolko,

• "The Nationals placed [Bryce] Harper on the disabled list yesterday, 19 days after he collided with the right field wall at Dodger Stadium." - "Bryce Harper says he should have gone on the disabled list a month ago" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "'I think after I hit the wall here (in Atlanta), I think I should’ve went on the DL, just to try to get better and come back 15 days later,' [Bryce] Harper said Sunday morning." - "Bryce Harper discusses the bursitis in his left knee and going on the disabled list" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• via Twitter:

• "[Bryce] Harper said, 'I feel all right,' before adding: 'It's still swollen and crappy. I'm just trying to get treatment and see if the swelling will go down.'" - "Nats' Harper says knee 'still swollen and crappy'" - Charles Odum,

• "With hindsight being 20/20, [Bryce] Harper said he might have considered going on the DL the day after hitting the wall. But it's not the wall at Dodger Stadium to which he referred." - "Harper will allow knee to fully heal before returning" - Jon Cooper, News

• "The worst injury to come out of that play was a swollen left knee, which was aggravated one week ago when [Bryce] Harper twice slid into bases against the Phillies, and finally landed him on the DL this weekend." - "Harper: I should've gone on DL a month ago" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "[Bryce] Harper said he's not sure at this point whether he'll be able to get back in the lineup against the Rockies on June 11, when he's first eligible to return from the DL." - "Nationals Pastime: Harper admits he should have landed on DL more than a month ago" - Dan Kolko,

• "Pitchers tend to recover from lat strains more quickly than oblique strains, but [Stephen] Strasburg may still be at risk of missing a handful of starts." - "Stephen Strasburg has a Grade 1 lat strain" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Nationals manager Davey Johnson said prior to Saturday night's game that the team would wait before putting [Stephen] Strasburg on the disabled list." - "Strasburg diagnosed with mild lat strain" - Jon Cooper, News

• "[Nathan] Karns showed good velocity with his fastball his last time out, touching 97 mph on the stadium gun and sitting mostly around 93-95 mph." - "Nationals Pastime: Karns adjusting to big league life on and off the mound" - Dan Kolko,

• "You are what your record says you are. And right now, the Nationals are 28-29, a full 6 1/2 games behind the NL East-leading Braves." - "Nats fall below .500, now 6 1/2 behind Braves" - Mark Zuckerman, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• "Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty said Karns should be commended for his first start in the big leagues." - "McCatty: Karns set for next step in series finale versus Braves" - Byron Kerr,

• "Erik Davis jogged in from the bullpen Sunday afternoon into a moment that could make a seasoned reliever nervous, let alone a 26-year-old making his major league debut." - "Erik Davis shines in major league debut" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann (8-3, 2.37 ERA) was tagged for seven earned runs -- more than his prior six starts combined -- on Wednesday in Baltimore." - "New York Mets at Washington Nationals - June 4, 2013" - Paul Casella, Preview

• "There was a time that Erik Davis wondered if this type of phone call would ever come. Then he got it twice in a two-week span." - "Erik Davis joins the Nationals for his first major-league call up" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• via Twitter:

• "The first run that came around on [Zach] Duke was charged to [Nate] Karns, but Duke gets stuck with the other two. His ERA now stands at 8.71 after today's effort." - "Nationals Pastime: Duke struggles, Davis doesn't (Nats lose 6-3)" - Dan Kolko,

• "The loss was Washington's third in four games, and dropped the Nationals 6 1/2 games behind the Braves in the National League East." - "Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves - June 2, 2013" - Jon Cooper, WSH Recap

• "Just when you think the Nationals lineup might get something going, they revert back into their old habits." - "Instant analysis: Braves 6, Nats 3" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "Widely recognized as a World Series favorite two months ago, they handed the ball Sunday to a rookie making his second career start." - "Nationals vs. Braves: Washington drops below .500 mark with another loss to Atlanta" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "If he does not suffer a setback between now and when the Nationals open a homestand against the New York Mets on Tuesday, the Nationals expect Werth to be ready to return to the active roster." - "Nationals hoping to get Jayson Werth back from DL on Tuesday" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Danny] Espinosa said he feels like his wrist has progressed a bit because of the brief layoff, and while the results haven't been too good, he feels his swings have been better." - "Nationals Pastime: Karns on his second outing, Davis on his debut, Espinosa on his offense" - Dan Kolko,

• via Twitter:

• "[Davey] Johnson said the team's sagging offense could get a lift as outfielder Jayson Werth is expected to come off the 15-day disabled list for Tuesday's start of a home series against the Mets." - "Nationals fall below .500 with 6-3 loss to Braves" - Charles Odum,

• "Ideally, Werth will return to the lineup on Tuesday when Washington hosts the New York Mets, playing his first game since April 29 in Atlanta." - "Werth on target for Tuesday return to Nats" - Jon Cooper, News

• "[Danny] Espinosa, none too thrilled with the multiple plunkings from the Braves left-hander, took a long look out at the mound and moved down the first base line incredibly slowly." - "Nationals Pastime: Karns hanging in, Werth seeming ready, Espinosa not happy (Karns done)" - Dan Kolko,

• "The Nationals began this series with an uplifting victory, in spite of Stephen Strasburg’s exit with a lat strain." - "Stormy days: Latest loss to Braves drops Nationals below .500" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• Your Daily Message From The Daily Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):


• "The Braves increased their division lead to 6-1/2 games over the Nationals, and improved to 11-3 in their past 14 games against the defending NL East champions." - "B.J. homers as Braves beat Nats for 11th time in 14 games" - David O'Brien,

• "[Bryce] Harper was asked Sunday if he is concerned his aggressive style will make it difficult for him to have a long career" - "Bryce Harper of Washington Nationals says knee remains 'swollen, crappy'" - AP/ESPN

• "In sitting [Stephen] Strasburg, Washington basically said, 'we're good enough to compete for a pennant without him, and even if we don't win it all this year, we'll be back next year.'" - "Nationals injuries are an ironic reminder of 2012" - Prince Grimes, Arlington Sports |

• "It's the second 'D' of the week for the Nationals, who dropped two of three to the Braves this weekend and sit one game under .500 at 28-29." - "Grading the weekend series: The A's get an 'A'" - Mike Axisa,

• "From 2007 through 2011, the Nationals, according to Baseball America, spent $51 million on draft selections. They picked up eight players currently on their 25-man roster. Only the Pittsburgh Pirates spent more at $52 million." - "Commentary: Braves and Nationals show importance of draft" - Bob Brookover, Baseball Wires -


• "68) Corey Knebel, RHP, University of Texas; 105) Clinton Hollon, RHP, Kentucky HS; 136) Tyler Danish, RHP, Florida HS." - "2013 Minor League Ball Community Mock Draft Results: NL East" - John Sickels, Minor League Ball

Class-A Hagerstown: Legends 5; Suns 2 - Tony Renda - 2 for 5; Brandon Miller - 1 for 4 - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Class-A Potomac: P-Nats 10 - Hillcats 6 - A.J. Cole - 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks, 2 HR - Potomac Nationals Scoreboard

Double-A Harrisburg: "Christian Garcia started the game and pitched a scoreless first in his second appearance with the Senators, on an MLB Rehab Assignment from the Nationals." - "Jordan Goes Seven Strong, Souza Stays Hot in 6-2 Sens Win" - Marshall Kelner, Harrisburg Senators News

• "[Matt] LeCroy gave his report on the Nationals' No. 13 prospect: "[Taylor Jordan] has an above-average fastball, 94-95 mph, good sink." - "Taylor Jordan shines in home debut; Sandy Leon looks refreshed; Steven Souza extends streak: Harrisburg Senators game notebook" - Geoff Morrow,

Triple-A Syracuse: "Eury Perez led off with his third home run of the season to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead." - "Chiefs fall in game three to Red Sox" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "There are going to be a lot of firsts for Rendon and Sunday was his first double. He has shown a good batting eye so far with a couple of walks in his first two Triple-A games." - "Day 2 with Anthony Rendon, another loss to PawSox" - Ben Meyers/Jason Benetti, The Auburn Citizen

• "Come Thursday night, Nationals fans will be waiting for a good while before the team makes its first selection in the 2013 MLB draft." - "Gems can be found in the second round of the MLB draft" - James Wagner, Washington post

• "Sunday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson,


• "Bryce Harper: 'I think after I hit the wall here, I should have went on the DL'" - Nats Enquirer

• "Week 9 Game 57 Nats @ Braves" - Lady and the Nats

• "As was the case Saturday night, the Nats bullpen could not handle their responsibility, as Zach Duke walked four and gave up two hits in his two-thirds of an inning..." - "Washington Nationals Game 57 Review: Middle relief culprit again in 6-3 loss to Braves" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Nats Box Scores on this Date" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "Nathan Karns made his second big-league start for the Nationals, and kept the game close for four and two-thirds innings." - "Nationals Drop Series To Braves, Despite Solid Rookie Pitching" - Erin Flynn, The Nats Blog


Braves: "For a pitcher with nasty stuff and good control, Braves left-hander Luis Avilan has more walks and fewer strikeouts than you might expect." - "Braves lefty Avilan learning plenty from O’Flaherty" - David O'Brien,

Marlins: "After picking his mother up at the airport Saturday and taking her to lunch, Jose Fernandez did what a 20-year-old son is supposed to do: He made her proud." - "Jose Fernandez dominates Mets in easy Marlins win" - Clark Spencer,

Phillies: "Baseball trade-deadline talk is like Christmas decorations at the mall. It starts earlier every year, and that is not a good thing." - "Forget the Cliff Lee trade talk" - Phil Sheridan, Philadelphia Inquirer

Mets: "In his shakiest start of the season, [Matt] Harvey lasted five innings and surrendered four earned runs on 10 hits and two walks with five strikeouts." - "What Subway Series? Harvey, Mets swept by awful Marlins" - Mike Puma,