Plenty to pass along coming out of today’s pregame session with manager Davey Johnson, which came in a packed press conference room, filled with reporters who flocked to Nationals Park for Bryce Harper’s home debut.
Johnson said that reliever Brad Lidge will be out around a month after having surgery in Philadelphia to repair a sports hernia.
Infielder Mark DeRosa will be out “for sure the full 15 days” as he battles an abdominal strain, says Johnson. The Nats will then go from there to determine when DeRosa will be ready to return.
Ryan Zimmerman threw today and will be allowed to start hitting this weekend. Byron Kerr has more on Zimmerman over at his blog.
Johnson was asked what type of roll he envisions for Tyler Moore, who made his major league debut on Sunday.
“I’ll probably just use him off the bench, probably pinch hitting,” Johnson said. “I liked what I saw. They were pitching us in, he was the only guy in the lineup that got the head out and hit one nine miles foul. I liked that, but there’s a lot of players ahead of him that need to play. We need to get (Xavier) Nady going. I still have a lot of confidence in him.”
Johnson said that with Michael Morse and Zimmerman out with injuries, he thinks that a lot of guys in the lineup are trying to do too much. That includes Danny Espinosa, who is hitting just .205 this season with one home run, two RBIs and 27 strikeouts in 21 games.
“I think Danny, early on, hitting in the two hole, was trying to be a little more fine and get on-base,” Johnson said. “I’ve talked to him, I’ve said, ‘Just be aggressive. Look for something you can drive in the gaps. Don’t get too technical, don’t over-think it.’
“I think in his case, he’s tried to do too much, be too fine. He’s got tremendous power. He’s the strongest pound-for-pound guy, probably in the league. And I hate to see him trying to serve the ball to the opposite field. I like to see him attacking the ball. And more who I think of him - as very aggressive, wherever he hits, second or sixth. He just needs to get pitches he can drive, because he’s got tremendous ability.”
Johnson said he’s going to continue to rotate guys into the No. 3 spot in the order. He’d prefer to use Jayson Werth there until Zimmerman returns, but feels that taking Werth out of the No. 5 hole would put too many lefties toward the bottom of the order and make it easier for opposing managers to match up later in games.
Werth will continue to get most of his time in that No. 5 spot, where he can help protect Adam LaRoche.
Meanwhile, Werth is back in the lineup today, as Johnson feels the outfielder is over the migraine issue which kept him out of the lineup on Sunday.