Jayson Werth’s first rehab game pushed back to Saturday

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Jayson Werth was originally scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment with High-A Potomac this evening. However, Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com passes along word that the Nationals decided to scratch him due to a combination of the poor weather and some stiffness in his surgically-repaired left wrist.

It’s not a major concern at this time, as Nationals manager Davey Johnson said that the stiffness was expected and that Werth should be good to go tomorrow instead.

“That’s a good sign,” Johnson said. “He said he pushed it to the point where it got a little stiff. And he said once you get that, you’re good to go. He said he heated it up a little in here and did a few exercises and felt great. So he’s going tomorrow. No biggie.”

Werth has been sidelined since breaking his wrist while trying to make a sliding catch on May 6 against the Phillies. Barring any setbacks, he figures to rejoin the Nationals’ lineup in the early part of August, which should push left fielder Steve Lombardozzi back into a super-utility role.

Werth, who is in the second year of a seven-year, $126 million contract, was hitting .276 with three homers, 12 RBI and an .810 OPS in 27 games prior to the injury.

Texas Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister

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The Texas Rangers just announced that they have fired Jeff Banister as the team’s manager. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named interim manager for the remainder of 2018 season.

Banister was in the last year of his contract with the club, but there was an option for 2019. Rangers brass, obviously, has decided to go in a different direction following what will be the club’s worst finish in Banister’s tenure. At the moment the Rangers are 64-88 and are assured of last place in the AL West.

Banister was hired before the 2015 season and led the Rangers to first place finishes in each of his first two seasons, willing the Manager of the Year Award in 2015. The club fell to a disappointing third place and a 78-84 record last season, however and, after an offseason that neither helped the Rangers rebuild OR reload, this season the descent has continued.

Injuries and under achievement has been the order of the day for the past two years and, with the career of Adrian Beltre nearing its end and the Rangers having been passed up by the Astros as the class of the division, a full rebuild is in the club’s future. Even if that was not the case, however, recently there have been some reports about Banister having trouble communicating with his players, suggesting that, perhaps, the Rangers would move on from him even if the results on the field had been better.

Banister ends his reign as the Rangers’ skipper with a record of 325-313.