Jayson Werth has been on the Disabled List since June 3rd, when he fouled a fastball off his left foot and suffered a fracture and deep bone bruise. Trea Turner landed on the DL on June 29th when a fastball hit his left wrist and fractured it.
According to reports out of San Diego on Sunday, both Werth and Turner, who have been working out at the Washington Nationals’ facilities in West Palm Beach, are on the way to Triple-A, where they’ll begin their respective rehab assignments Monday.
Werth, 38, put up a .262/.367/.446 line with five doubles and eight home runs in 196 plate appearances before his injury.
Turner, 24, started slow, but by the time he was injured, had a .279/.324/.422 line with 13 doubles, four triples, seven home runs, and 35 stolen bases in 315 PAs.
Nats’ skipper Dusty Baker talked recently about the cavalry showing up just in time to help the Nationals out down the stretch. Getting Werth and Turner back in his lineup, he told reporters after taking three of four from the Padres, would be a huge boost to an offense that’s been scuffling over the last few weeks.
“That’s very exciting and we’re excited to get them back,” Baker said, “... but we want them back when they’re ready versus trying to force them back early and so — and I’m sure they’re chomping at the bit because they’ve been out a long, long while, they’re not used to being out that long, so I’m excited. We got [Shawn] Kelley back here, and so slowly but surely we’re getting whole and hopefully we can get them sharp.”
Heading into play on Sunday, Wilmer Difo, (who’s seen most of the time at short while Turner and Stephen Drew have been out), had a .336/.400/.453 line, two doubles, two triples, and three homers over 39 games and 148 PAs after Turner landed on the DL,
Difo added two doubles in the series finale with the Padres.
Michael A. Taylor returned from an oblique injury recently, though Brian Goodwin had been filling in admirably in center in Taylor’s absence before he too was injured, and with Bryce Harper out with a bone bruise in his left knee, the Nationals, who fielded an outfield that consisted of Adam Lind, Taylor, and Alejandro De Aza from left to right on Sunday afternoon, could definitely use some help from a healthy Werth.
Howie Kendrick, who’s been impressive since he was acquired from the Philadelphia Philllies, and Andrew Stevenson, whose defense has impressed, have helped out too, which Baker noted, shows what kind of the organizational depth the Nationals have assembled.
“Fortunately enough we’ve had some depth in outfielders that we didn’t know we were going to have to use,” Baker said this past weekend, “and some guys have stepped up to perform well — sometimes beyond expectations — because you never know what a person can do until he’s given an opportunity and these guys wouldn’t been given this opportunity had everybody been healthy.
“You’d rather have everybody healthy, but again, you try to deal with the solution.”
Werth and Turner will be one step closer to returning after each of them start their rehab stints on Monday with the Syracuse Chiefs, who are in Allentown, PA over the next four days for a series with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.