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Injury Updates: Storen, Wang, Tracy & Morse

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Injury Updates: Storen, Wang, Tracy & Morse

Davey updates on Storen
Drew Storen threw a perfect inning in his first relief appearance with the Potomac Nationals on Thursday but, according to Nats manager Davey Johnson, he may have been a little too perfect. Storen threw only eight pitches, less than the team expected when they set forth a plan of four minor league outings.

Storen is expected to pitch again Saturday night in his second game recovering from bone chips in his elbow and Johnson hopes they can see more from the Nats reliever.

We have him scheduled for four outings, but I want him to throw more than eight pitches and get a good workout. If not I told him and Steve McCatty that rather than him go and throw in the bullpen Id rather him see game situations, he said.

If the outing became short he could possibly go back tomorrow and do a couple of back-to backs. Its all about arm endurance and how it bounces back.

Johnson spoke of building a foundation from when Storen comes up because as a possible closer they cant truly replicate MLB game pressure and crowds. Johnson said Storen is scheduled to pitch again on July 11 and that moving forward it will have a lot to do with how many pitches he throws.

The Nats manager said he has the luxury of bringing back Storen slowly because of the teams pitching depth.

Its not going to be imperative for back-to-backs with the type of bullpen I have, he said.

Its all about arm endurance and how it bounces back. First time he comes up here and pitches I wouldnt back-to-back him. Maybe I wouldnt close him.

Storen is still expected to return shortly after the team gets back from the All-Star break.

Wang throws bullpen on Saturday

Chien-Ming Wang was seen throwing in the bullpen early Saturday afternoon with pitching coach Steve McCatty as he continues his road back from a right hip strain. Wang is currently on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 3.

Hes still throwing to keep his arm going, but mostly he is just relaxing and getting his trainer Vicky working him out in the exercise room, Davey Johnson said.

Johnson joked about Wangs hip exercises, saying he himself has participated.

In fact I have copied some of the exercises, there are some pretty good ones, he said. I have never heard of them before. You stretch your hips and loosen them up and its better than having someone stretch you or massage you. I hate to say Im glad he got hurt but I have had two back operations and I can use those exercises.

Wang has appeared in seven games this season for the Nationals and started four. He is 2-3 on the year with a 7.61 ERA in 23.2 innings pitched.

Johnson said Wang will go back to Taiwan for the All-Star break and return after in hopes of starting a rehab assignment when the team continues play.

At the break he is going to go home like everybody else and hes going to come back and hopefully start pitching again, he said.

Tracy has setback

Bench player Chad Tracy made a rehab appearance with the Potomac Nationals Friday night as he works his way back from surgery to repair a tear in his right groin. He went 0-for-4 as the teams designated hitter and, according to Davey Johnson, felt some pain when running to first.

I think he hit three ground balls to the second baseman and had some discomfort coming out of the box, Johnson said. He is going to be off today and come in here and rest because its in the same area as that surgery.

Johnson is hopeful a day off will correct the problem and said he could see the setback coming.

I was expecting it, it was a pretty major injury. When you come back there is scar tissue and the body tends to over-heal, he probably broke a little of that. Hopefully a day off, it is just some adhesions breaking loose, hopefully hell be fine. Well know more after today.

Morse dealing with minor knee injury

Nationals right fielder Michael Morse looked a little sluggish in Friday nights game the Rockies when tracking down singles hit his way. On Saturday Davey Johnson was asked whether anything was hindering his ability in the field.

I dont think the shoulder is a problem, I am more worried about the hammy right about the knee. Its caused him some problems, but I didnt see him getting much treatment today so hopefully he is pretty much by it, he said.

I still think he is not quite where he was last year with the bat and he is trying to work his way there.

Morse is batting .283 with four home runs and 16 RBI in 31 games since returning from a right lat strain he suffered in spring training.

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What will Joe Ross' role be for Nationals in playoffs vs. Dodgers?

What will Joe Ross' role be for Nationals in playoffs vs. Dodgers?

It was just a few weeks ago that Joe Ross' postseason availability was in question, and if he could return in time, whether he would pitch out of the Nationals' bullpen and or as a starter wasn't clear. Manager Dusty Baker wondered aloud if he would get his young right-hander back, even as Stephen Strasburg dealt with elbow injuries.

The progress Ross has made in a short period of time since is remarkable and after his 90-pitch outing on Thursday afternoon against the Diamondbacks, the 23-year-old looks and feels ready for the playoffs, and not just to pitch in relief, either.

"I'm hoping I get the opportunity to start, but that's up to them," Ross said. "But I'll take any opportunity I get to pitch and go out there and compete. I just want to help the team in any way I can."

Ross wasn't great on Thursday in his third start back from the disabled list. He only made it four innings, as his pitch count soared early. But in giving up just one run, he's now pitched 9 2/3 innings in three games back. During that stretch he's allowed three runs and struck out 14.

[RELATED: Wilson Ramos hopes to be back with Nationals]

It has been a process of baby steps for the Nats starter, a slow progression back from right shoulder inflammation, an injury rehab that featured a setback in late July. Now, though, he is essentially back to normal, just in time for the NL Division Series which begins next week.

"I feel good. I felt really good today. I felt really good last start. I guess it's just a point of executing pitches," he said. "There's no doubt in my mind really on whether I can go out and compete."

Baker mentioned that Ross could pitch in releif early in the NLDS against the Dodgers. That could keep him available for a start later on, if it's kept short like a normal bullpen session.

But one has to wonder if Ross has improved his case enough to pitch Game 3 of that series, given Gio Gonzalez' recent struggles. The lefty has allowed 19 earned runs in his last 23 innings going back five starts.

Regardless, Ross has certainly come a long way in just three MLB outings.

"He looks ready," second baseman Wilmer Difo said through an interpreter.

With all the negative injury news the Nationals have received in recent days, between Wilson Ramos' season-ending injury and Strasburg essentially ruled out for the NLDS, having Ross fully back in the mix is a nice change of fortune for the NL East champs.

[RELATED: Matt Belisle sounds like safe bet for Nats playoff roster]

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Wilson Ramos knows his knee injury could mean the end of Nationals' tenure

Wilson Ramos knows his knee injury could mean the end of Nationals' tenure

Wilson Ramos won't be on the field for the Washington Nationals when the team takes on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the N.L. Divisional Series next week.

The 2016 N.L. All-Star catcher will undergo surgery to repair the ACL he tore in his right knee on Monday night against the Diamondbacks

Ramos has been arguably the Nationals' most constant offensive threat this season, and had positioned himself as the team's backstop for the foreseeable future.

But the injury changed everything.

Not just because the surgery and rehab will stretch well into Spring Training, but because the 29-year-old Ramos will become a free agent at the end of the season. On top of that, a second ACL injury (He tore it in 2012 as well) means that taking the field everyday as a catcher may not be a viable option for him much longer.

"Unfortunately, this injury happened so close to the end and it may affect whether I’m able to stay with a National League team or not," Ramos told reporters prior to the Nationals' 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon.

"But if it’s up to me, I definitely would like to keep playing for the Nationals and play as long as I can."

Ramos is a solid defensive catcher, but his biggest strength is at the plate. Being able to be a part of a lineup everyday is where he is most valuable, and that may mean playing in the American League, where he can serve as the designated hitter and fill in as catcher.

But this doesn't mean Ramos is done as a member of the Nationals, just that he's aware his time could be coming to an end.