Koda Glover’s health struggles continued in his first appearance of the spring today. He left the game with elbow tightness and will have to be re-evaluated on Monday, per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post. As of right now, there is no indication as to the severity of Glover’s discomfort.
Glover managed only 22 pitches to four batters before being replaced by Austen Williams. It’s another unfortunate setback for Glover, who missed most of the last two seasons with injuries to his back, hip and shoulder. Coming into the 2017 season he was a significant piece of the Nats’ bullpen puzzle and the potential closer of the future. A hip impingement sent him to the injured list for two weeks at the end of April of that year, but when he returned, he recorded five saves over a spotless nine appearances in May. He totaled 8 saves on the year before a back injury put him on back on the shelf for the rest of the season.
Remember, Glover’s injuries paired with Blake Treinen’s ineffectiveness led the club to trade for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. Doolittle has become a vocal leader in the clubhouse and community while locking down the ninth inning – when healthy. Of course, that deal cost the Nationals Jesus Luzardo, a Baseball America top-10 prospect as of today, and Treinen would figure things out in a major way while with Oakland.
None of which, obviously, falls on Glover, though one can only imagine it would be reassuring for the Nationals were he and Doolittle to stay healthy and productive enough to secure the high-leverage portions of baseball games in 2019. For that to happen, Glover will first need to get healthy. He felt good coming into the game, and this spring was the strongest he’d felt in awhile, per Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com. Unfortunately, any feel good comeback story is again on hold for the Nats and Glover, who turns 26 in April.
For his career, Glover has appeared in parts of three seasons, totaling 63 appearances out of the pen, a 4.00 FIP and 2.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio. For the Nationals, they should have enough even if Glover is out long-term, with Trevor Rosenthal, Kyle Barraclough, Justin Miller, Wander Suero from the right side, as well as starters Austin Voth, Erick Fedde, Joe Ross, and Kyle McGowin who could be move to the bullpen if they aren’t needed in the rotation.