This just in: Lucas Giolito is tall. And personable.
Giolito turned 18 a day after reaching a contract agreement with the Nats, and he might still have some growing in him. But the kid already looks like an athlete.
The Nationals expect that Jayson Werth will be cleared to resume what manager Davey Johnson called “baseball stuff” tomorrow, nearly two-and-a-half months after Werth suffered a broken wrist diving for a ball.
Werth had been able to shag fly balls prior to the All-Star break, but had not been cleared to take any swings. It’s possible that he could be allowed to pick up a bat and take some hacks again as early as tomorrow.
“Jayson Werth is progressing really good,” Johnson said. “I think the chances of him re-injuring the bone which was broken, unless some catastrophe happened, that’s not going to happen. It’s probably going to be stronger than his other wrist, with the procedure he had.
Johnson said that Werth is probably two or three weeks away from returning. If that timetable ends up playing out, it will match what the Nationals and Werth had always targeted - a return around the first week of August.
“We’ll see if that plan is still in effect,” Johnson said.
Chien-Ming Wang was in the Nationals’ clubhouse this afternoon, but he’ll be in Woodbridge, Va., tomorrow, making his second rehab start since landing on the DL with a hip strain. This one will be with Single-A Potomac.
In a start with Double-A Harrisburg on Friday, Wang allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits in four innings. He struck out three, walked none and said he came out of the rehab appearance feeling good health-wise.
“I think I’m full-go,” Wang said through interpreter John Hsu. “I feel pretty good. Right now just still working on my mechanics, obviously, and try to stay back more and on top of the ball more.”
The mechanics were the main issue when Wang was pitching in a Nats jersey earlier this season. He was having trouble finding his arm slot, which was causing his sinker to move more horizontally and not down in the zone, as it’s supposed to.
“Mechanics-wise, I think right now I feel pretty good,” Wang said. “I can get more on top of the ball.”
Drew Storen will join Potomac’s roster for tonight’s game, and the Nationals reliever is expected to get at least one more rehab appearance before being activated. Storen, who is working back from elbow surgery, got lit up during a rehab appearance at Harrisburg on Sunday, allowing four runs over 2/3 of an inning.
Johnson said the Nats are pleased with Storen’s arm strength at this point, but want him to work on improving his command and getting more consistency with his breaking ball before they activate him. With the Nationals’ bullpen pitching so well, there’s no rush to bring Storen back before he’s ready.
Chad Tracy, whose rehab from groin surgery has been put on hold the last week and a half, is set to return to game action with Potomac this week. Tracy had felt some discomfort in the groin when running out of the box during a rehab game July 6, and hasn’t played in a game since.
Finally, Ian Desmond isn’t the only Nationals player to be bothered by an oblique injury. Backup catcher Jhonatan Solano also is dealing with a sore oblique, which he injured swinging, but Johnson said Solano should be able to go tomorrow night, if needed.
“The oblique is ‘in’ in 2012,” Johnson joked.