BALTIMORE -- The box score from Double-A Harrisburg from Sunday made Nationals manager Dave Martinez smile. Daniel Murphy collected six RBIs, including a three-run homer, while playing second base for the Senators, encouraging results as the Nats veteran inches closer to returning from offseason knee surgery.The results did not totally
BALTIMORE -- The box score from Double-A Harrisburg from Sunday made Nationals manager Dave Martinez smile. Daniel Murphy collected six RBIs, including a three-run homer, while playing second base for the Senators, encouraging results as the Nats veteran inches closer to returning from offseason knee surgery.
The results did not totally surprise Martinez considering Murphy has been hitting for months throughout the rehab process. Taking at-bats in the batting cage and on the field have allowed him to stay sharp at the plate, shifting the focus during his rehab assignment to his comfort level running and playing defense.
Once he can run without discomfort, he will be ready to get activated from the disabled list.
"We don't just want him to feel pretty good, we want him to feel really good," Martinez said. "He's progressing really well, so my assumption is … I'm hoping it'll be fairly soon."
Murphy, who has yet to appear in a game in the Majors this season, played nine innings in the field during both games of his rehab assignment. So even though Martinez did not have a certain timetable, it sounds as if his return could come sooner rather than later.
"We want him to play, but need to be careful," Martinez said. "So we'll see how he feels today."
• Brian Goodwin (left wrist) went 1-for-3 with a walk on Sunday with Harrisburg.
• Adam Eaton (left ankle) and Ryan Zimmerman (right oblique) both took batting practice on the field prior to Monday's game against the Orioles. Eaton also ran a cone drill under the watch of a team trainer, as he aims to work his way back from the DL sometime in the next month.
• Left-hander Matt Grace (left groin strain) was added to Harrisburg's roster on Monday for the start of a Minor League rehab assignment.
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.