Scott Van Slyke (back) has been cleared to participate in baseball activities and will do so this week according to manager Dave Roberts on Wednesday, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.
Van Slyke was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 12 following a lower back injury that occurred during a game on April 9. He is expected to return sometime in early June barring any setbacks, and will look to rediscover his 2014 form (.297/.386/.524 in 98 games) after having a disappointing season last year. His injury has not caused the Los Angeles Dodgers many issues due to their loaded outfield group, but Van Slyke provides added depth and a decent bat against southpaws.
Trea Turner is hitting .309/.393/.443 with two homers, 11 RBI, and a 10-for-10 mark as a basestealer at Triple-A Syracuse this season.
Meanwhile, Danny Espinosa is mired in a month-long slump. While the Washington Nationals currently sit atop the National League East, it may not be long before they opt to make Turner their starting shortstop, which will likely push Espinosa into a utility role going forward.
Danny Espinosa went 0-for-4 in the Nats' win over the Royals on Wednesday afternoon, dropping his season line to .185/.292/.272.
Meanwhile, Trea Turner is hitting .309/.393/.443 with a pair of homers and 10 steals in 10 attempts at Triple-A Syracuse through 25 games. The Washington Nationals may be contemplating a change in the near future, as it's quickly becoming difficult to justify the top of the organizational depth chart at short given Espinosa's prolonged slump to begin 2016.
Bryce Harper went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and two RBI in the Nats' win over the Royals on Wednesday afternoon.
Prior to the multi-hit game Wednesday, Harper was mired in a 2-for-26 slump (13 strikeouts). He's now sitting with 10 home runs through 27 games this season, putting him on pace to threaten the 50-homer plateau by the end of 2016 if he can maintain his current power production.
Stephen Strasburg improved to 5-0 with six innings of two-run ball against the Royals on Wednesday afternoon.
He fanned seven in the outing, while walking just one and scattering five hits. Strasburg will make a pair of home starts next week, first facing the Tigers on Monday before a turn against the Marlins on May 15.
Zach Davies struck out three and walked three while holding the Angels to two runs on five hits over six innings in a no-decision Wednesday.
The quality start Wednesday is Davies' first of the 2016 campaign in four tries. Given the lack of alternatives, he'll continue to occupy a spot in the Milwaukee rotation for the foreseeable future, but his struggle with walks during his brief time as a big league starter continues to be problematic. At his best, Davies will keep the ball down in the strike zone and induce a steady supply of groundouts. He's lined up for a two-start week, beginning Monday at Miami followed by a May 14 turn at home against the Padres.
Alex Presley went 2-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout while batting second for the Milwaukee Brewers in a losing effort Wednesday.
He moved up to the No. 2 spot in the order while Jonathan Villar was in the leadoff spot Wednesday, thanks to another scratch for Domingo Santana (shoulder). Through 10 games, Presley is 6-for-21 with a homer, five RBI and a 3:4 BB:K in part-time duty for the Brewers. Currently, his playing time hinges on the health of Santana, Ryan Braun, and the performance of Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ramon Flores.
Tom Murphy (oblique) is playing games at extended spring training and could rejoin the Triple-A squad soon, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports.
Murphy hasn't been able to appear in a game yet with Triple-A Albuquerque due to the oblique strain, but it appears that he's progressed very well through the rehab process. Unfortunately, he may be locked in the minors for the time being despite his upper-prospect status due to the success of major league backup catcher Tony Wolters.
Kyle Barraclough tossed a scoreless inning in Tuesday's win over the Diamondbacks and maintains a pristine 0.00 ERA through 10 appearance (8.2 innings pitched) this season.
Barraclough failed to earn a spot in the Miami Marlins ' bullpen out of Spring Training but the right-hander has been lights out since his mid-April promotion. Barraclough has a strong 14:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio on the year while yielding .188 opponent batting average. He's compiled five holds on the young season and will continue to be tested in high-leverage situations so long as he continues to excel.