Dusty Baker was not ready to announce which pitcher will start Game 2 of the NLDS for the Washington Nationals, but he did provide a couple updates on the roster for the division series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Baker started with an update on Daniel Murphy, who is continuing to work his way back from a left buttock strain that’s kept him out of action since September 17th, outside of a few pinch hit appearances.
Murphy went through another day of workouts in Nationals Park this afternoon and came out of it feeling good.
“He looked pretty good,” Baker said.
“And you know, he says he's ready and so, therefore, you know, we think he's ready. He did about everything that you could do simulating the game. Everything but slide. But yeah, he looked pretty good.”
Baker also announced that Wilmer Difo will be on the 25-Man roster for the NLDS, in part because he can help out as Murphy works his way back. So why did the Nats go with Difo?
“Number one, he's a switch-hitter,” Baker explained. “You know, he has speed. He's very good from the right side and also he can play all three infield positions, and with Daniel Murphy still coming off an injury, he gives us a possibility at second base late in the game and [can] run for Daniel Murphy, as well.”
As expected, with the Dodgers’ struggles against left-handed pitchers this season, the Nationals, Baker said, are going left-hand heavy in the bullpen.
“We do know we're going to go with three left-handers in the pen,” Baker said. “I can tell you that much now.”
Which three? Baker said he couldn’t tell reporters until after he told the players. The same goes for the bench players on the postseason roster.
The Nationals have until tomorrow to make the official announcement on their postseason roster.