Martinez updates Murphy, Rendon and Severino

NEW YORK - More positive news as second baseman Daniel Murphy continues his rehab from microfracture surgery in his right knee. Manager Davey Martinez said pregame that Murphy has been very active in baseball related activities in West Palm Beach at the club’s spring training facility.

“He got five at-bats yesterday, did well,” Martinez said. “He ran the bases. He took 35 ground balls. He did good. Progression every day. We will see what happens today or tomorrow.”

Daniel-Murphy-run-gray-sidebar.jpgMartinez was not able to guesstimate when Murphy might be back with the Nationals to play in regular season games.

“That’s too far out,” Martinez said. “We just want him to get better each and every day. The beautiful thing is that the weather is good. So, he’s able to get a lot more work down there than anywhere else.”

But he did allude that Murphy might be able to skip minor league rehab games altogether and just return to the team when he is 100 percent healthy.

“I think if he stays there and he gets his at-bats, and he’s doing everything he’s needs to be doing, he’s good,” Martinez said.

With the Nats finally regaining some confidence in their offense the last two games - 13 runs on 20 hits - it would be an even bigger jolt to their output when Murphy actually gets back on the field. But Martinez said that’s not all Murphy brings to the table.

“Well, he’s really good,” Martinez said. “Of course, he’s going to make a huge impact in our lineup. But we want to make sure that when we get him back long term and he’s playing with us every day.

“I like Murphy, period. That’s why he was here for the first part of these couple of weeks to have him around. He’s very influential to the guys, especially young guys. He’s a leader. I want him around.”

Third baseman Anthony Rendon is getting better from his injured left big toe. Martinez believes he might be good to go Friday in Los Angeles if these next couple of days play out seamlessly.

“He’s feeling better, still sore,” Martinez said. “But he is progressing and feeling a lot better. We’re hoping to get him back here hopefully by Friday.”

Noticeable in tonight’s lineup is catcher Pedro Severino making his second start in a row. Martinez decided not to flip back to Matt Wieters.

“I want to keep everything the same,” Martinez said. “Wieters has a bit of a sore wrist so (wanted) to give him another day. He’s available, but if we get him another day that’d be good because he gets a scheduled day off tomorrow too as well.”

Severino went 1-for-4 with a RBI single and run-scoring groundout. He also caught Juan Lagares attempting to steal a base in second. The play turned into a strike-‘em out throw-‘em out double play.

“He’s been really, really good,” Martinez said. “I know this spring he’s worked with (bullpen coach) Henry (Blanco) a lot and they discussed communication with pitchers. And get an understanding what each individual pitcher wants to do on a daily basis. Very informative. Always talking to pitchers in between innings. It’s good to see.”

Severino is also batting .313 and his on-base percentage is .436.

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