The Nationals have placed right-hander Justin Miller on the 10-day IL due to a lower back strain. Righty Austen Williams has been called up to take Miller’s spot on the 25-man roster. Miller has a 5.68 ERA over 6 1/3 frames out of Washington’s bullpen this season, with all of that damage coming from runs allowed in each of his last three appearances. Miller’s absence is yet another problem for the beleaguered Nats bullpen, which has a league-worst 8.12 cumulative ERA this season. The Nationals were seemingly close to a deal with Bud Norris before that rumored contract fell through, so the team is actively looking for ways to upgrade its relief core. There’s certainly opportunity here for a new face like Williams to make an impact, as the 26-year-old had an outstanding Spring Training and has turned in good results out of the bullpen at the minor league level since becoming a full-time reliever last season. Williams made his MLB debut in 2018, tossing 9 2/3 innings over 10 games with the Nats.
Here’s some more injury news from around the league…
- Wade LeBlanc left during the fifth inning of last night’s game due to right oblique strain, and the Mariners southpaw is likely headed to the injured list. (MLB.com’s Greg Johns was among those with the details.) Tommy Milone or possibly Justus Sheffield seem like the top candidates to replace LeBlanc in Seattle’s rotation, though nothing will be confirmed until LeBlanc undergoes an MRI today to access the damage. The 34-year-old LeBlanc has been a solid arm for the M’s since rejoining the team on a minor league deal in March 2018, posting a 3.79 ERA while starting 30 of 35 games. This success resulted in an option-heavy extension between LeBlanc and the Mariners last July.
- Blue Jays righty Ryan Borucki’s bothersome elbow will be re-evaluated in two weeks after the hurler received a cortisone shot, Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi writes. Borucki first experienced the problem in the final week of Spring Training, and hasn’t thrown since a bullpen session on April 3.
- In other Blue Jays injury news from Davidi’s piece, Ryan Tepera has begun a rehab assignment and could potentially join the team as early as this weekend, as the reliever tries to bounce back from his own elbow problems. David Phelps is set to begin bullpen sessions next week as the reliever continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery, with an eye towards a midseason return. Devon Travis is scheduled for baseball activities next week, though a 60-day IL placement in the wake of meniscus surgery means that Travis isn’t eligible to return to the Jays’ big league roster until late May.