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Murphy ready to ramp up activity

Second baseman set for extended spring action by middle of week
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Daniel Murphy is inching closer to a return to the diamond.

The Nationals' second baseman, recovering from an October surgery on his right knee, will report to extended spring camp at the club's facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday while the team embarks on a nine-game road trip.

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WASHINGTON -- Daniel Murphy is inching closer to a return to the diamond.

The Nationals' second baseman, recovering from an October surgery on his right knee, will report to extended spring camp at the club's facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday while the team embarks on a nine-game road trip.

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While he likely won't play in a rehab game Monday, Murphy will likely start to get some at-bats at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches by the middle of next week.

Murphy has been running on the field over the past several days and will begin to ramp things up upon his arrival in Florida.

"He was supposed to run today, but with the [bad] weather, they backed that off," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "He's still going to go get some at-bats and get his work in down there while we're on the road."

Given that the three-time All-Star hasn't had an at-bat since the 2017 National League Division Series, he will take things slowly as he works his way back into the batter's box on a regular basis.

"I would think he'd have to treat it like Spring Training and we'll see where he's at," Martinez said. "The biggest thing -- we got this far -- is not to start pushing him. He's progressing really well so we just have to make sure we don't push him too fast right now.

"Let's just continue to build him up and get him ready so when he comes back, he's ready to play," Martinez said.

Even with Howie Kendrick filling in well at second, there's no denying Washington would greatly benefit from having Murphy's bat back in the order. The 33-year-old has batted .334/.387/.569 with 48 home runs and 197 RBIs in 286 games over the past two seasons with the Nationals.

Worth noting:
• Third baseman Anthony Rendon remains day to day with a bruise on his left big toe. Martinez said Rendon "felt a little better [Sunday], but he's still pretty sore."

Martinez added Rendon's toe is "black and blue" and "pretty swollen," but does not expect him to need a disabled list stint at this time.

• Outfielder Brian Goodwin (left wrist soreness) was available Sunday despite not being in the starting lineup. Goodwin was also ready to pinch-hit if needed Saturday, but "I felt like if he's sore, I'd try not to get him in there," Martinez said.

• Outfielder Adam Eaton worked out Saturday and is "progressing really well," Martinez said. "He feels good. ... Everything is on schedule right now," the Nats' skipper added. Eaton is on the 10-day DL with a bone bruise in his left ankle.

Eaton will travel with the club on its road trip to New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is eligible to come off the DL on April 19.

Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at

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