Right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who has been on the disabled list since July 27 with a right elbow nerve impingement, said he threw 57 pitches in a simulated game on the field Wednesday. He was up and down four times, as he went to the Nationals' dugout in between simulated innings.
"It feels really good. I am happy with it. I really wasn't apprehensive about (the injury)," Strasburg said.
One of the hitters who faced Strasburg (10-3, 3.25 ERA) was left fielder Jayson Werth, who has been on the disabled list since June 5 with a left foot contusion.
"Stras looked good. He had command of all of his pitches," Werth said. "He had good life on his fastball. I think he is going to be fine."
The Nationals have not announced when Strasburg will return to game action.
Werth said he hopes to begin a more extensive running program Thursday and aims to go out on a minor league rehab assignment in "a week or two."
"I have been pretty active. I have been biking, in the water swimming, a ton of things to stay in shape," Werth said Wednesday. "When you are out, it is the worst place to be. I am getting back in time for postseason and the run in September. If you had to choose, you want to be ready for those games. It takes time to get your swing back.
"Our club has a nice lead, the guys are playing great. It speaks to the depth of the organization and where we are at as a franchise."
In addition, second baseman Daniel Murphy was out of the lineup for the second day in a row with a hip problem. Manager Dusty Baker doesn't feel it is serious and wants to make sure Murphy gets rest so he doesn't miss more time, like he did at the end of last season.
"He should be OK tomorrow," Baker said of Murphy. "We have to head that off. You have to recognize the signs."
Murphy was used as a pinch-hitter Tuesday.
Left fielder Howie Kendrick was back in the Nationals' starting lineup Wednesday after he missed Tuesday's game. Kendrick left the game Monday in the seventh inning with back tightness.
Baker was hobbling Tuesday night after he tweaked his knee.
"It feels better," said Baker, who said ice and the doctor helped the recovery.
The Nationals began the day 66-45 and 13 games ahead of the second-place Marlins. Washington is aiming for its second division title in a row and fourth in franchise history.