A handful of Nationals players and staff used their off day yesterday to hit the links, playing in a tournament hosted by the Lerner family.
Manager Davey Johnson was one of those who participated, and he struck it pretty well, posting four bogeys and a birdie on the front nine.
“Just sweet-stroking it,” Johnson said.
Johnson had to take the last few holes off because his back was starting to act up, but even at 70 years old, he was able to out-drive Jordan Zimmermann for much of the day.
“Doesn’t take much,” Zimmermann deadpanned.
Johnson’s lineup card today originally didn’t have Adam LaRoche’s name listed as the starting first baseman, but LaRoche will actually end up starting today. Johnson had planned to give LaRoche the day off partially to let him rest and partially because he struggles against Phillies starter John Lannan (0-for-15 with five strikeouts in his career). But Chad Tracy is dealing with a stiff neck, and so LaRoche will play.
Johnson said that right-hander Ross Ohlendorf, who is on the DL with right shoulder inflammation retroactive to Aug. 1, will get a rehab start with Triple-A Syracuse tomorrow. Ohlendorf said he felt great after a bullpen session here at Nats Park on Wednesday, and now he’ll throw four innings or 65 pitches tomorrow in his first rehab appearance.
Ross Detwiler, meanwhile, is feeling better as he tries to work back from a herniated disc in his back, but he still has a ways to go in his rehab.
Johnson said that Detwiler will start some running, but will be held back from throwing for another 30 days or so. He’ll then have to build his arm strength up, leaving it uncertain that he’ll be able to make it back to the Nats before the regular season ends.
The Nationals hope, however, that Detwiler will be able to return to major league action before the 2013 campaign wraps up.
As we start discussing possible managerial candidates for the Nats next season, one name that might pop up is Bo Porter, the former Nationals third base coach who is currently the manager of the Astros.
Porter is well liked by the Lerners and general manager Mike Rizzo here in D.C., and he obviously is very familiar with the Nats system. But per the Houston Chronicle, Porter said today that he’s “fully entrenched” in Houston, which is his hometown.
That would seem to rule Porter out for the Nats job, which will need to be filled this winter once Johnson steps down. We’ve heard that Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams is a candidate for the job, and Nats bench coach Randy Knorr and third base coach Trent Jewett are among the internal options.