It’s a staple of the non-waiver trade deadline talk, like the last-minute mystery team, and phony Twitter accounts.
[ed. note - “Aren’t mystery teams more of a Winter Meetings/free agency type of thing?”]
[Author’s Note - “Stop it, just go with it.”]
At some point in time over the next few weeks, general managers around the league will all talk about getting some injured players back as being as good as a trade.
For Washington, relievers Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover could provide a boost to the bullpen that would be the same as acquiring new relievers before the July 31st trade deadline.
“We’re hoping that if [it’s] not the trade deadline [that] gives us some help that some of our guys will get healthy and give us some help,” Rizzo said, “... and if you get those guys back healthy, those are good acquisitions at the trade deadline to replenish your lineup and to make yourself deeper and more dangerous in the playoffs.”
Kelley, on the DL since June 17th with what was diagnosed as a right trapezius strain, has been throwing on flat ground recently with plans to throw a bullpen this weekend.
Glover, who went on the DL for the second time this season on June 11th, was put on the 60-Day DL this week, when the Nationals needed to add Jacob Turner to the roster after Turner had been DFA’d and cleared waivers before returning to Triple-A Syracuse.
“We put Koda on the 60-Day because it’s been 30 or more days already,” Dusty Baker explained this week.
“We probably figured that hopefully he’ll be ready at the end of the next 30 days.
“He hasn’t really started throwing yet or anything, so it’s going to take him a while to get back once he is healthy.”
Some of the Nationals’ injured position players could come back in the near future as well.
“Michael Taylor had that little rib/oblique tweak,” Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies on Wednesday.
“He’s doing very, very well,” Rizzo said, “and I don’t think it will be much longer before we see Michael Taylor going on a short rehab stint and getting him back in the big leagues soon.”
[ed. note - “Jon Heyman, over at FanRag Sports, wrote Thursday that the Nationals might be in the market for outfield help as the non-waiver deadline approaches: “There’s concern about Michael Taylor (oblique), so they could look at the outfield, too. Jayson Werth is also on the DL. Though, rookie Brian Goodwin has played well.”]
Jayson Werth told reporters this week that he actually suffered a fracture of the first metatarsal in his big toe when he fouled a pitch off his foot in Oakland back on June 3rd, though neither he nor the Nationals admitted as much until this week.
“It’s doing better,” Werth said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“It’s just frustrating because this injury, the bone that’s injured is crucial for running.”
“Jayson’s toe has responded well,” Rizzo told The Sports Junkies on Wednesday, “... but when he really pushes it when he runs it was flaring up, so what we did was we backed him off it, and we want him to be able to run full-go, pain-free and not push it, so he’s a week or so away from doing some baseball activities.”
“We just have to wait till that thing heals,” Baker said in a separate interview this week.
“We had no idea it was going to be this long or as serious as it is, but I told you guys the worst injuries I ever had was to my big toe and my thumb, and those injuries they take longer to heal than anything.”
And then there’s Trea Turner, who suffered a non-displaced fracture in his right wrist on June 29th. Rizzo provided an update on the Nationals’ 24-year-old shortstop when he talked with the Junkies on Wednesday.
“These are probably the easiest type of injuries to kind of rehab,” Rizzo explained. “It’s a broken bone.”
“Once the bone is healed,” he said, “then we can ramp up extremely quickly and get him back on the field.”
Turner is currently at the Nationals’ facilities in West Palm Beach, FL, and though he has not started baseball activities, he’s working towards a return, and the Nationals have been X-raying and doing bone scans on the wrist to check his progress.
“He’s young and athletic,” Rizzo said.
“It won’t take him long to get back on the field once he can begin baseball activities.
“In the meantime, he’s doing all his other exercises. He’s working out, lifting weights, running, keeping his legs in shape, and that type of thing.”
While they wait for their injured teammates, the Nationals who are on the field at the moment are pushing forward, 11.0 games up in the NL East, 20 games over .500, with wins in six of their last seven, and seven of ten as they arrive in Arizona for the start of this weekend’s three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks which begins with Max Scherzer on the mound tonight at 9:40 PM EDT in the first of three.