Murphy, Werth absent for finale vs. Braves
Daniel Murphy was in the Washington Nationals’ original lineup for their series finale against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night in his usual spots, batting fourth and playing second base. But when Murphy arrived at SunTrust Park, he visited Manager Dusty Baker’s office to inform him he was experiencing some discomfort in his right leg and it was probably best if he didn’t play. So Baker scratched him from the lineup.
The Nationals described Murphy’s injury as right leg tightness. Murphy missed the final couple weeks of the 2016 regular season with a glute injury, but that was his left side. Murphy declined to talk about the injury.
“We thought it would be better to give him today off because he doesn’t want off and we don’t want him off in New York,” Baker said. “And then you still have a long stretch of the road trip to go.”
While Murphy is expected to play in New York, Trea Turner is likely to join him and complete the starting Nationals’ middle infield. Baker said the club could activate the shortstop from the 10-day disabled list as early as Friday, though he probably wouldn’t start.
Turner hasn’t played since he strained his right hamstring April 8. He was eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday and spent two days this week playing in extended spring training games at the Nationals’ facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.
“Reports on Trea were good,” Baker said. “I think he had five at-bats, a couple walks, a triple and another hit or something. They said his defense was good. He’ll be coming to New York with us, maybe activate him tomorrow. I don’t know if I’ll play him tomorrow, because that’s the rest day that we kind of had planned for him after being so inactive for so long. But he’ll be available to us later in the game.”
As for Murphy, Baker said he first noticed the NL MVP runner-up wasn’t himself in Wednesday’s win. Murphy was the only Nationals position player who didn’t record one of Washington’s season-high 20 hits. He went 0 for 4 with two walks and a run scored.
Jayson Werth, as expected, was also not in the Nationals’ lineup. Werth exited Wednesday’s win during his second at-bat in the third inning with groin spasms. The 37-yearold left fielder was optimistic he won’t need to go on the disabled list and said Thursday he was feeling better than expected.