Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley threw a simulated game of around 20-25 pitches prior to Wednesday’s game with the Orioles. He threw to Stephen Drew and Trea Turner. Kelley has been on the disabled list since May 2 with a lower back strain.
Kelley said the simulated game game went “very good. They asked me and I told them I’m ready. Hopefully, it’s Friday.”
Kelley said this was the best day of his rehab and assured him his back was going to be fine. He said he actually gets more out of simulated games then he does in spring training games.
“Yeah, I think you still want to prove it to yourself mentally and physically,” Kelley said. “I knew that I was about as confident as you can be that it would go just fine. I felt really strong getting loose. I felt good yesterday.
“Each day up until today, it still continued to get better. I didn’t just wake up like five days ago and feel amazing. Yesterday felt really, really good and today felt pretty close to normal. Getting that in and hoping that tomorrow and the next day I’m 100 percent.”
Manager Dusty Baker said Kelley had a spring in his step after the simulated game.
“Kelley came in. He was very happy,” Baker said. “Had some other stuff to do. Says he’ll be ready.”
Baker had a positive update on reliever Koda Glover’s rehab assignment this morning for Double-A Harrisburg. Glover, who has been on the disabled list since April 26 with a left hip impingement, threw a scoreless inning for the Senators. He allowed one hit and struck out one with no walks.
“I got a good report on Koda,” Baker said. “He threw one inning. We are slowly but surely getting back to normal.”
Baker doesn’t believe Glover will have any more rehab games.
“No. He told us yesterday he’ll be back soon,” Baker said. “He wasn’t that far off, not like Kelley was. Both of them could be back possibly this weekend.”
Glover had to deal with a hip injury in the offseason that he decided to rehab vigorously instead of having surgery.
“You can never stop things from popping up again.” Baker said. “You just hope that doesn’t happen. Koda was doing a lot of maintenance anyway, and Kelley, rest always seems to do him good.”
Baker did not have a definitive update on Drew, but the infielder went through normal batting practice today with no issues. Drew, on the DL with a right hamstring strain since April 12, is expected to head out soon on a minor league rehab assignment, most likely this weekend.
Baker out a lineup early on that showed a day off for Jayson Werth. But as the game drew closer to first pitch, a new lineup was submitted with Werth in the lineup batting second.
Was this going to be a scheduled day off?
“No. I wasn’t planning on giving him the day off,” Baker said. “Especially against the left-hander, the way he hits left-handers well. He was a little under the weather then he came in and said, ‘Hey, man, I’m fine, I’m ready to go.’ That’s why we changed the lineup back.”
* Major League Baseball announced the Twins will have the first selection in the upcoming 2017 First-Year Player Draft that begins June 12. The Nationals’ first four selections are: No. 25, No. 65, No. 103 and No. 133.