Progress for Werth, 2 re­liev­ers

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS - BY TODD DYBAS

Jayson Werth’s toe has caused a hole in the lineup. In the three games he has missed be­cause of a toe con­tu­sion, the hit­ters in the No. 2 spot of the lineup are a com­bined 1-for-11.

Thurs­day, Na­tion­als man­ager Dusty Baker did not make it sound like Werth would be re­turn­ing soon. The 37-year-old left fielder is on the 10-day dis­abled list, retroac­tive to June 4, and has prompted Wash­ing­ton to use a makeshift group in his stead. Vet­eran Ryan Raburn and young­ster Brian Good­win have been used to re­place Werth. Baker has de­cided to keep the rest of his lineup in­tact — it has pro­duced the best of­fense in the Na­tional League as con­structed — in­stead of mov­ing a more ac­com­plished hit­ter, like An­thony Ren­don, into Werth’s lineup spot.

“It’s not go­ing to be quick,” Baker said of Werth’s re­cov­ery. “... We’re not plan­ning on Jayson the next few days. He’s try­ing to get the swelling out of there.”

Two bullpen fac­tors are try­ing to heal, as well. Re­liever Joe Blan­ton was placed on the 10-day dis­abled list May 17 be­cause of right shoul­der in­flam­ma­tion. A sea­son af­ter be­ing ex­quis­ite for the Los An­ge­les Dodgers bullpen, Blan­ton has ca­reened his way to a 9.49 ERA in Wash­ing­ton. Blan­ton re­lies heav­ily on throw­ing slid­ers, dis­patch­ing the pitch even more of­ten than his fast­ball last sea­son and al­most at the same rate this sea­son. Slid­ers can put a lot of stress on pitcher’s arms.

But, Blan­ton is mov­ing for­ward. He started a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion as­sign­ment Thurs­day with Dou­ble-A Harrisburg.

In Florida, left-han­der Sammy So­lis con­tin­ues to throw. So­lis was placed on the 10-day dis­abled list April 19 be­cause of left el­bow in­flam­ma­tion. He threw a 40-pitch bullpen ses­sion Tues­day. Baker did not know what the spe­cific next step for So­lis is. He, and an ef­fec­tive Blan­ton, would be boosts to a flail­ing bullpen group that has be­gun to right it­self.

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