Madson available to pitch tonight; Baker stops by to say hello

SAN FRANCISCO - The Nationals should have their full complement of late-inning relievers available tonight should the situation arise in their series opener against the Giants.

Madson-Throws-Red-Sidebar.jpgRyan Madson, who was unavailable for all three games over the weekend in Los Angeles while his arm recovered from three straight days of work prior to that, told Davey Martinez he would be good to go tonight if needed, a relief to the manager.

“Yes, he’s available,” Martinez said. “He feels good. I’m glad we got him some days off and he’s ready to go.”

It’s common for a reliever to need a day or two off after heavy usage, but four days in a row off is not conventional. Madson, though, had not only pitched all three games in New York but had thrown a total of 101 pitches over an eight-day span.

Madson had told Martinez he could pitch that third game against the Mets. The manager admitted he may need to step in and prevent the 37-year-old from doing that even when he says he’s OK.

“We’ll definitely assess it when the time comes, but we have to be a little bit more careful, a little bit more specific,” Martinez said. “But I’m going to have these conversations with them every day. He came to me, said he was available today.”

Brandon Kintzler, who pitched Friday and Sunday, and Sean Doolittle, who only pitched Friday, are both rested and available tonight.

Other injury updates ...

* Though Adam Eaton remains with the club and is participating in workouts, he still needs to prove he can play without any pain in his left ankle before he’s activated off the disabled list. The Nationals aren’t setting any firm timetable for that to happen.

“When we get him back this time, we don’t want any issues,” Martinez said. “We want him to go out there and play and not worry about anything.”

* Both Daniel Murphy and Brian Goodwin continue to work out in West Palm Beach. Murphy, whose surgically repaired right knee has healed, is now working his way back into shape as though he was going through spring training. He was off Sunday but was back in a game today. Goodwin, who will be eligible to come off the DL on Friday, is still dealing with issues in his left wrist.

“His wrist is still sore,” Martinez said. “Apparently he took some swings, and he said it was still sore. When he’s ready, we welcome him back. He’s another guy that people don’t talk about, but he was big for us. He’s a big part of this team.”

In other news ...

A familiar face was on the field at AT&T Park during batting practice tonight, smiling as he greeted players, staff and media members from both sides: Dusty Baker.

The former Nationals manager was recently hired by the Giants as a special advisor and beamed as he discussed what has become a busy life. He splits his time between his home in Sacramento, his work here in San Francisco and plenty of trips to Berkeley to watch his son, Darren, play baseball for Cal.

“What’s not to like about that,” Baker said with a smile.

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