In his latest roundup of notes from around the NL on Thursday, FanRag’s Jon Heyman wrote that the Nationals were concerned about injured outfielder Michael A. Taylor’s oblique, which has kept him out of action since July 6th, though he originally tweaked it earlier than that.
“There’s concern about Michael Taylor (oblique), so they could look at the outfield, too,” Heyman wrote in discussing where Washington could look for help at the non-waiver trade deadline.
“Jayson Werth is also on the DL. Though, rookie Brian Goodwin has played well.”
Dusty Baker told reporters earlier this week that there wasn’t a clear timetable for Taylor’s return.
“Not sure,” Baker said when asked when Taylor might get back in the lineup, “depends on how he feels, because at first, when he first hurt it, it was hard for him to breathe or roll over in the bed or cough or anything like that, so he’s advanced from where he was before.”
Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies this past Wednesday that, Taylor was getting close to returning.
“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.”
Before Friday night’s game, however, Baker told reporters in Phoenix, Arizona’s Chase Field, where the Nationals started a three-game set with the D-Backs, that Taylor was not ready for a return to action.
“I don’t think he’s quite ready,” Baker said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“We were hoping he’d be ready, but he still feels it. As long as he feels it, you’ve just got to wait till his body heals. They’re doing everything they can. It’s been two weeks, but I’ve seen guys take a lot longer than that. We were hoping that we caught it before it got too bad. But whenever they try to ramp up his workload, he feels it. And then you’ve got to back him off again.”
After taking over in center field for the injured Adam Eaton in late April, Taylor filled in admirably, posting a .295/.339/.550 line with 16 doubles, 12 home runs, and 10 steals in 59 games and 237 plate appearances before his own injury.
Heyman also reported that the Nationals were still considering closers even after they acquired Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from the A’s, and wrote that with Joe Ross done for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on Wednesday morning, the Nationals, “... could look at the starting market, too.”