Get ready for some roster shuffling (Werth to begin rehab assignment)

The tarp is on the field at Nats Park, the wind is howling and the skies are pretty freakin’ dark.

They’re expecting “severe storms” here in D.C., but we haven’t gotten any rain yet and it looks like the heavy stuff might miss us. We shall see.

There’s a ton of injury news to pass along today, starting with Jayson Werth, who took batting practice today. This marked a major step in the right direction after Werth broke his wrist back in early May.

Manager Davey Johnson said today that he was “really pleasantly surprised” with how Werth looked during the BP session.

“I didn’t think he’d be hitting for another week, and it didn’t seem like he (felt) any discomfort,” Johnson said. “He said, ‘I’m not as strong as I’d like to be with my bottom hand,’ which was the one that was broke, but he swung the bat exceptionally well.”

Given how Werth looked today, Johnson said he’ll “more than likely” head out on a rehab assignment starting tomorrow. That rehab stint would likely begin at Single-A Potomac.

Werth could need a fairly lengthy rehab assignment, given not only his need to restore his timing at the plate but also work his body back into game shape after 10 weeks out of action.

While Werth’s rehab process is set to begin, Drew Storen’s is coming close to ending. The reliever worked a 1-2-3 inning yesterday at Potomac and felt great during the outing. He said he made some mechanical adjustments and focused on not overthrowing, which was an issue his previous time out in a game with Double-A Harrisburg.

Johnson said that the Nationals will be ready to activate Storen “soon, maybe as early as tomorrow.”

That would leave them with a tough bullpen decision to make. Craig Stammen and Ryan Mattheus both have an option remaining and could be sent to Triple-A without the Nats needing to risk losing them on waivers, but both have pitched to a sub-1.70 ERA this season. Lefty Michael Gonzalez has allowed runs his last two outings and is another potential roster casualty when Storen returns, but Gonzalez does not have an option left.

Xavier Nady (wrist tendinitis) has now played nine games on his rehab appearance with Single-A Potomac, and Johnson said the team will make a decision on him by Friday.

Chad Tracy (groin surgery) still hopes to resume his rehab with Potomac sometime in the next couple days.

The Nats will have to either activate Nady from the DL and add him to the 25-man roster or designate him for assignment.

Lastly, Johnson said another roster move will likely come after the game. Jhonatan Solano, who has been bothered by a sore oblique, will probably go on the DL, with Sandy Leon taking his place as the Nats’ backup catcher. Byron Kerr has more on that situation here.

Solano will be the fifth Nationals catcher (yes, the fifth) to miss time due to injury this season. Wilson Ramos (who had successful ACL surgery today), Carlos Maldonado and Leon have all spent time on the disabled list, while Jesus Flores missed five days with a hamstring injury in late May.

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