The Nationals’ lineup hasn’t looked nearly as intimidating as usual during the season’s first week, but an important piece is close to returning.
According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, outfielder Jayson Werth played in a doubleheader with Class A Potomac today as part of his minor league rehab assignment. Werth, who is working his way back from January shoulder surgery, homered and played the full game in left field in the first game before serving as the DH in the second one.
Werth has a scheduled off-day tomorrow, but assuming he feels good, he’ll be activated from the disabled list for Monday’s game against the Red Sox.
The Nationals have relied on a combination of Tyler Moore, Clint Robinson, and Reed Johnson in left field this week. They have combined to go 1-for-15 with a walk and an RBI coming into Saturday’s action. Getting Werth back will be nice, but the Nationals are also waiting on Denard Span and Anthony Rendon to get healthy.
Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports that the Red Sox are nearing an agreement with pitcher Zack Godley. It is still unclear whether the contract will be of the minor or major league variety.
Godley, 30, was with the Tigers on a minor league contract but the club released him in early April. The right-hander pitched for the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays last season, amassing 92 innings with a 5.97 ERA and a 70/42 K/BB ratio. Godley was quite solid for the D-Backs in 2017, posting a 3.37 ERA over 155 innings, so the Red Sox are hoping to see that version of him.
The Red Sox need starting pitching depth with Chris Sale out for the year due to Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodríguez sidelined because of a positive COVID-19 test. Collin McHugh is also still on the mend from an elbow injury. The starting rotation at the moment includes Nathan Eovaldi, Martín Pérez, Ryan Weber, and Brian Johnson. It is certainly the club’s biggest weakness.
The Red Sox open up the 2020 regular season at home against the Orioles on July 24. Eovaldi would seem to be the one to get the Opening Day nod. Godley could slot in anywhere else in the rotation, from No. 2 to 5.