After dealing with a hamstring injury for almost all of May, Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Class-A Potomac on Wednesday night, reports Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.
“We'll see,” said manager Davey Johnson (washingtontimes.com). “He was moving pretty good in the outfield. We just told him to take it easy, and his reply was ‘I don't know how to take it easy.' Hopefully it's warm weather and not a wet field. He'll get a couple games in and go from there.”
So, from the sounds of things, the Nationals could get Werth back early next week, assuming there aren't rainouts or setbacks with the hamstring.
Werth previously had hoped to spend the minimum of 15 days of the disabled list but suffered a setback that an MRI revealed May 19.
Werth, 34, is hitting .260/.308/.400 with four homers, 10 RBI and 17 runs in 27 games this season. Without him in the two-hole in the order, the Nationals have mostly either used an unproductive player there (such as Steve Lombardozzi, Roger Bernandina or Danny Espinosa) or moved three-hole hitter Bryce Harper up into the two spot.
In additional Nationals news, starting pitcher Ross Detwiler will not take the hill on Sunday as the club had hoped because the strained muscle in his back isn't recovering as quickly as the Nats would like.
“[Detwiler] still has signs of that, so we're not going to push that,” Johnson said (washingtontimes.com). “We don't want to have a setback if he pushed it and he's still having some discomfort when he throws. [Nationals head athletic trainer] Lee Kuntz thinks we aught to give him some more time, and that's what we're going to do."
In Detwiler's place, Nate Karns will make his second start. Karns allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings in his major-league debut on Tuesday night. Detwiler, 27, is 2-4 with a 2.76 ERA this season.