Jayson Werth, who started the season on the disabled list following January shoulder surgery and has hit .176 since returning, is out of the Nationals lineup for the second straight game with a “cranky” shoulder.
That’s according to manager Matt Williams, who has rookie Michael Taylor starting in Werth’s place against the Marlins. Washington has Thursday off, which means Werth will get three days off before rejoining the lineup Friday versus Atlanta.
Werth hit .292 with an .849 OPS last season, but in addition to hitting just .176 with zero homers in 19 games this season Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com writes that he “has looked less than comfortable at times in left field.” Taylor’s presence means there’s little incentive for the Nationals to rush Werth back, but turning away from him completely is unlikely given how good he was in 2014 and the fact that he’s still owed about $60 million through 2017.
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.