Jayson Werth aims to return from broken wrist by August 1

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Six weeks ago Jayson Werth was given a 9-12 week recovery timetable for his broken left wrist and he’s basically still on that same track, with manager Davey Johnson saying yesterday that the Nationals hope to have the outfielder back around August 1.

Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that Werth is no longer wearing a cast on the wrist, which he had repaired via surgery on May 6, but likely won’t be cleared to begin baseball activities until mid-July.

Ryan Zimmerman’s disabled list stint followed by Werth’s injury led to the Nationals giving Bryce Harper an extended chance and the 19-year-old phenom has hit .289 with seven homers and an .882 OPS in 45 games while splitting his time pretty evenly between right field and center field. By comparison Werth hit .238 with 23 homers and a .732 OPS in his first 177 games for the Nationals.

Once everyone is healthy the Nationals could potentially use an outfield of Mike Morse, Harper, and Werth, but for now rookie Steve Lombardozzi will continue to play regularly in left field.

Umpire ejects Adrian Beltre for moving on-deck circle

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As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.

Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.

Video: Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford hits an inside-the-park grand slam

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Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.

Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.

Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:

Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.

Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.