World Series requirements for the Washington Nationals, Part III: Daniel Murphy

As I stated in a previous article:

“Daniel Murphy was spectacular in his first season as a Nat. He hit 47 doubles, 25 home runs, had a .347 BA, a .390 OBP, and an NL-leading slugging percentage of .595. He finished second in the NL MVP voting. Since going off in the 2015 post-season with the New York Mets, Murphy has not let up.”

If Bryce Harper returns to his 2015 MVP form, which seems almost likely based on his spring training dominance, the Nationals do not necessarily need Murphy to have another MVP-caliber season. However, they still need him to be pretty damn great. Murphy was key to the Nats regular season success in 2016.

The concern with him comes from his gluteal muscle. The strain he suffered last season that cost him the final two weeks of the regular season, “could be recurring,” as he put it.

“So it’s something, in my old age, I have to be a little more diligent in certain areas.”

It has forced the 31-year-old (turns 32 April 1) to hit less this offseason. It is unclear whether Murphy will be able to produce the numbers he did last season. One thing is for sure, however; he is critical to the team’s success. Losing Wilson Ramos only makes him more valuable to the team.

The World Baseball Classic hasn’t helped matters.

Murphy and Nationals Manager Dusty Baker have expressed concerns that Murphy is not getting enough at-bats and his performance so far in competition is worrisome.

“He didn’t have his stuff together when he left,” Baker said. “And how are you gonna get yourself together if you’re not playing? Batting practice is one thing, but competition is something else. … What can I do about it until Murph gets back? I just hope we can get him enough work.”

He has gone 3 for 17 in spring training and 1 for 11 in WBC play.

Although Baker believes Murphy is healthy, he knows his second baseman is at risk.

“I just hope we can get him enough work without … you don’t even have to overwork him,” Baker said. “His chances of getting hurt are increased.”

If the Nationals are going to win it all this year, they will need a healthy and in-form Daniel Murphy.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Doug Martin released by Buccaneers

Cuban: Losing is Mavs' 'best option' for rest of season

J.D. Martinez signs with Red Sox

Fergie apologizes for NBA All-Star anthem performance

Skier Joel Gisler has horrific crash in halfpipe

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NBC analyst Tanith White uses unfortunate wording when talking about Shibutanis

Report: Kirk Cousins won't sign long-term with new team if tagged and traded

Verlander speaks out against MLB rule change

Polian: Lamar Jackson 'short' and 'slight,' needs to be a WR

Baker Mayfield will not attend 2018 NFL Draft

Anthony Rizzo opens up about vigil speech: 'Hardest thing I ever had to do'

The 'James gang walks away with a win' quiz

Negro Leaguers every baseball fan should know

Grading the deal: Eric Hosmer finally finds a home with Padres

Top 30 NFL free agents

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

Dario Saric thriving in shadows of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

Ten bold predictions for 2018 MLB season

Wil Myers has a tough adjustment ahead of him

10 NFL offseason moves that need to happen

Flyers reverse course behind a balanced attack

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'James gang walks away with a win' quiz

Negro Leaguers every baseball fan should know

Top 30 NFL free agents

Sports & Politics Intersect: NBA united against racial divide

The 'Emerald City on ice' quiz

NHL Weekender: Blackhawks, Rangers continue to free fall

The 'Hope springs eternal' quiz

Dario Saric thriving in shadows of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

MLB's top 10 starting pitchers for 2018

MLB's top 10 catchers for 2018

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker