Dusty Baker told reporters on Friday night he hoped Nationals’ outfielder Michael A. Taylor’s oblique strain, which landed him on the 10-Day DL, would not be a long-term issue.
The timing, Baker said, was as good as one could hope for, all things considered.
“Hopefully it won’t be more than 10 days,” Baker explained.
“Luckily for us, four of those days are All-Star Break, so if it was going to happen you couldn’t pick a more opportune time than now.”
The hope is that the Nationals and Taylor shut it down soon enough, after it was an issue for a few weeks.
Taylor said it’s, “been a couple weeks now since I originally injured it.”
“I took a couple days off then and it was starting to go the right way, and it’s just been up and down kind of since then.”
Baker said they wouldn’t know how the 26-year-old outfielder will react until he rests up and they test the oblique again.
“You don’t know. You don’t know until he starts activity,” the skipper explained.
“It was tough for him to breathe when he came out, because that affects everything.
“It affects when you go in the bed, when you get in the car, when you put your shoes on, your socks, we don’t know the exact severity of it, so we just have to see.
“He’s getting a lot of treatment. At this point, it’s just so soon right afterwards we don’t really know. The thing about it is, you certainly don’t want to rush it so it can linger. That’s the one thing you don’t want, is this to reoccur or linger throughout the year, cause you hope when it’s well, it’s well.”
While Taylor’s out, Baker said, he’s likely to use Brian Goodwin in center, though he could give Chris Heisey, who just returned from the DL, some time out there.
“Probably Goodwin the most,” he said, “on occasion could be Heisey now that he’s back. I told him to work out in center as well.”
Goodwin, 26, has put up a .264/.331/.512 line with nine doubles and seven home runs in 145 plate appearances this season. Going forward, and with all the injuries to the Nats’ outfielders, Taylor, Jayson Werth, and Adam Eaton, the 2011 1st Round pick is going to play an important role.
“He’s very important,” Baker said. “He’s been good off the bench. He’s been very good defensively. He’s shown a very good arm. We’d like him to, possibly, especially in the leadoff position, like him to steal some more because he does have good speed, and so that’s up to us to try to help him, so he’s become more and more important as guys fall by the wayside.”