The Washington Nationals are on the verge of a playoff appearance, but a lingering injury to All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy‘s buttocks could cause panic. 

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Nationals Briefly Shutting Murphy Down

Friday, Sept. 23

Per’s Jamal Collier, an MRI revealed Murphy has a strain in his buttocks, and the Nationals are shutting him down for the next few days.

Murphy has not played in a game since September 20, only making a pinch-hit appearance in a 1-0 loss against the Miami Marlins while dealing with the injury. 

Murphy is having the best season of his career at the age of 31, leading the National League with a .596 slugging percentage and .987 OPS. He’s been a standout for the Nationals, who have needed his effort to offset a surprisingly down season for Bryce Harper. 

Murphy has been able to avoid major injuries this season after spending time on the disabled list in each of his last two seasons with the New York Mets. His breakout season does give the Nationals an anchor in the middle of the lineup, though they are fortunate to have more depth than in recent years. 

With Murphy out of the lineup, Trea Turner can shift to second base as he continues to also handle the outfield. He’s shown excellent promise in his initial exposure to major league pitching, so the Nationals should be optimistic he can hold down the fort.

Since the Nationals’ magic number to clinch the National League East is down to two, they can afford to be patient with Murphy and allow him to heal in order to be ready for the postseason. 

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