Washington Nationals News: Reed Johnson working his way back


Good afternoon DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes gives us an update on Reed Johnson, who has been on the disabled list since late April with a torn tendon in his left foot. As Janes notes, Johnson is working his way back from the injury and appears to be on pace to be back with the Nationals by September.

According to Janes, Johnson has been hitting and throwing and has also been jogging. While he still has a ways to go in his recovery from the injury, he’s making progress and should be able to push his rehab even further once he is cleared to run normally.

As Janes notes, the Nationals signed Johnson in hopes that he would be a key contributor to the bench. With the injury, things didn’t work out as either party had hoped. But, as Janes notes, Johnson has still been a big part of the Nationals’ bench even though he hasn’t been able to contribute on the field.

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Johnson has a wealth of big league experience and has helped mentor other bench players, such as Tyler Moore and Matt den Dekker. For a team with a young, inexperienced bench, having a player like Johnson can be an invaluable asset. Hopefully for the Nationals, the veteran will soon be able to make his mark in the batter’s box as well.

Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Neil Greenberg uses statistics to explain why Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond will not meet his career norms at the end of the season.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Reed Johnson is working his way back, helping out in the meantime

(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)

Nationals outfielder Reed Johnson is hitting and throwing again, a little more than two months after having surgery to repair a tendon in his left foot. He is jogging now, trying to push his workload every day as he builds back to normal running. Once he does that, he’ll be able to return, and seems on pace to meet the September target he set after the injury.

Johnson got 18 at-bats after joining the Nationals late in spring training, hours after the Marlins let him go. Washington is his sixth major league team, and he figured to play a steady role on the bench. No one in the majors has more pinch hits over the last five seasons. But the Nationals also sought Johnson because he brings experience. He has not traveled with the team while injured, but is present in the locker room before nearly every home game. Hitting coach Rick Schu said Johnson is helping the much-used bench by sharing what he can about succeeding in a bench role. Read full article here.

Matt Williams is wrong. Ian Desmond won’t hit 20 HRs this season.

(Neil Greenberg, Washington Post)

Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond has had a rough season at the plate. In 81 games this season, the the three-time Silver Slugger has hit .213 with seven home runs and an OPS 36 percent lower than average after adjusting for the league and ballpark he plays in  (.595 OPS).

But that won’t stop Manager Matt Williams believing in his 29-year-old shortstop.

“My advice is for him to continue to play,” Williams said. “There is no reason that that young man from now until the end of the season can’t hit 20 home runs. There’s no reason.”

There are three reasons why Desmond will struggle to hit that mark. Read full article here.

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