BALTIMORE -- The Nationals are expecting to activate right-hander Ryan Madson from the disabled list during this weekend's four-game series in Atlanta, with one more bullpen session left to clear his return from the chest muscle strain.Madson, who landed on the DL on May 20, has already thrown in the
BALTIMORE -- The Nationals are expecting to activate right-hander Ryan Madson from the disabled list during this weekend's four-game series in Atlanta, with one more bullpen session left to clear his return from the chest muscle strain.
Madson, who landed on the DL on May 20, has already thrown in the bullpen once since the injury and will not require any rehab assignments before returning.
"He's had one really, really good bullpen the other day," manager Dave Martinez said. "He's going to throw another one and with that he said he's ready to go."
Madson's return will be a boost to the Nationals' bullpen, which has missed one of its most trusted setup men. But it could also end up serving as a positive for Madson, who has not pitched since May 13. He had already made 21 appearances in the first month-and-a-half this season and was trending toward a career high in appearances, not something Washington wanted the 37-year-old to reach this season.
Madson might not be the only reliever coming back this weekend. Left-hander Matt Grace tossed a scoreless inning during a Minor League rehab game with Double-A Harrisburg on Monday and could also be nearing a return soon.
Both are welcome sights for Martinez, who at times has had to piece together games with his short-handed bullpen or rely heavily on his most trusted relievers. But it's also given the Nats the chance to see if some of their relievers can thrive in different roles. Left-hander Tim Collins, back in the Majors for the first time since 2014, has not allowed a run in four appearances; neither has right-hander Justin Miller in two games. And right-hander Shawn Kelley tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings to seal Monday's victory in Baltimore.
"We've asked some guys to do different things," Martinez said. "And they've stepped up."
• Bob Boone will be the Nationals' team rep for the 2018 MLB Draft. Boone, a former All-Star, joins a decorated list of baseball personnel that includes Hall of Famers, former MVPs, managers of the year and more.
The Draft will take place on June 4-6, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET on Monday. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at noon ET.
• Adam Eaton continued to run on the field and take batting practice prior to Tuesday night's game against the Orioles. He appears to be moving around much better on his surgically repaired ankle than he was at the start of the season, although he can not be activated from the DL until mid-June.
"He's pushing the envelope a little bit," Martinez said. "Everybody knows, he's a feisty little guy, so he wants to play and wants to play today. But we've waited this long and we have to make sure he's 100 percent."
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.