WASHINGTON — Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Monday he expects Daniel Murphy, who’s been dealing with a “mild strain in his buttocks,” to be ready for the postseason.
“He’s still shut down,” Baker said, while adding that he’s feeling better, and the injury hasn’t hindered Murphy from hitting or throwing.
“How many at-bats he needs? That’s a toss up between at-bats and him getting extra days to get healthy and get well,” Baker said. “Which ones are more important, his legs to get healthy, or his at-bats? And are we risking that leg by pushing too early?”
“Murph knows himself and Murph has a strong mind,” he added. “I’m just glad that we shut Murph down when we did and we had the luxury to shut Murph down when we did, because if he’d have played any longer, he probably would have been out for the entire postseason.”
Craig Heist, 106.7 The Fan’s Nationals beat reporter, offers an alternative timeline for Murphy’s return.
“Dusty said yesterday, ‘It’s a good thing we did shut him down, otherwise he might not be ready for the playoffs,” Heist told Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier Tuesday on 106.7 The Fan.
“Well, I’ve been told that he may not be ready for the playoffs,” he said. “And if that happens, you’re losing your best hitter and the guy that’s carried you all year long.”
“You’re saying that you’ve heard that he may not be ready for the start of the division series?” Paulsen followed up.
“It’s possible, yes,” Heist confirmed.
“So they’re not sure that he’s gonna be ready to go?” Paulsen asked.
“I don’t think they’re sure, no,” Heist said. “Now, Dusty said yesterday he expects him to be ready. I’m not so sure.”
“Well, but they say stuff all the time that isn’t true about injuries,” Paulsen said. “I’d rather take what you’re hearing from someone that might be right than what they’re just telling me.”