Good news for the Nationals – relatively speaking – as X-rays came back negative on Victor Robles’ injured wrist, per Todd Dybas of NBC Sports (via Twitter). He incurred a wrist contusion in last night’s ballgame when Cole Hamels hit him with a pitch in Robles’ second at-bat. It is not yet clear whether Robles will spend time on the injured list, though it seems likely.
Robles – whose 22nd birthday is tomorrow – joins a long list of injured Nats this season, most notably Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner, who also missed time this season after being hit by pitches. As a team, Washington has been plunked 22 times season – or about once every other game – tied with the Twins for 4th most in the league.
The timing is a particular bummer for the Nationals, who just got Turner back from injury last night for the first time since the season’s first week. Robles has been one of the more consistent performers for a disappointing Nats offense, hitting .255/.302/.465 with a team-leading eight long balls and eight stolen bases. The approach is lacking at times, he continues to be frustratingly bunt-happy, and more than once mental mistakes on the basepaths have demonstrated his youth and put him on the wrong end of the highlight reel. Still, the Nationals need Robles healthy if they are going to turn things around this season. Michael A. Taylor can replace him defensively, but Michael A. is lost at the plate and there’s not another natural replacement on the 40-man roster (not with Andrew Stevenson also on the IL). The Nats could use Adam Eaton in center with Gerardo Parra and Howie Kendrick seeing more time in the outfield.
Further adding to the injury ledger, Justin Miller appears headed to the injured list for the second time this season with a rotator cuff strain (per Dybas). Miller has pitched well in stretches across 17 appearances this season, going 1-0 with a 4.02 ERA. The ERA may be buoyed by a .256 BABIP, as FIP paints a decidedly different picture for the bearded righty (7.01 FIP). His fastball has been down a tick at 92.2mph from 93.9 mph last year, though his back pain early in the season – and the current shoulder strain – certainly deserve consideration as part of that story. More to the point for Miller, he has struggled to keep the ball on the ground or in the park (2.87 HR/9, 19 GB%), as was the case last night when he surrendered the first of Kris Bryant’s three home runs.
Despite continued struggles from the bullpen ahead of Sean Doolittle, major personnel changes do not appear in the offing, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. With Erick Fedde likely ticketed for the rotation at least for a start, they’ll need another arm in the bullpen as early as before tonight’s game. In a perfect world, Trevor Rosenthal would be ready to contribute, but as Collier notes, his wildness has continued during a rehab stint with Double-A Harrisburg, and it’s hard to imagine trusting him with major league innings at this juncture. Per Mick Reinhard, the host of @MinorConvsPod (via Twitter), Rosenthal pitched on third of an inning in his last outing, giving up one hit, walking one, and throwing two pitches to the backstop. Austin Voth, Tanner Rainey and James Bourque are the most likely 40-man candidates to take Miller’s roster spot.
News flash! Nats move to the American League (Or did the Twins move to the National League?)
League as in major LEAGUE baseball
AH lawd, people told me the National’s bullpen was a mess, but did you see it last night? Homer here, homer there, homer everywhere it was crazy better off having resigned Bryce Harper and have him be a relief pitcher I tell ya, phew that stinks.
What is with these top GM’s not being able to build a decent bullpen? Between Rizzo, Dombrowski, and Epstein’s relievers you might be able to put together one solid bullpen. Then you have GM’s like Cashman and Preller who seem to have good relievers pop up out of nowhere every season.
i know many batters always get hit every year in the MLB, but I feel like there’s been a real increase in them this year. seems like every Phillies player has been hit at least twice so far.
4 Phillies have been hit twice in more. 2 of them hut exactly twic, and 2 of them hit 3 times
Phillies hitters have been hit 18 times (league average) Cubs hitters have been hit 25 times.
When you pitch for max velocity you are going to sacrifice some control. Today’s young pitchers care more about hitting 99 on the gun than finding the corner of the plate.
Rich Hill’s Elbow
Stick a fork in em, the Nats are done.
Martinez will be fired after this series. It’s not his fault though that the bullpen is trash. He has to leave his starters in way past the 100 pitch norm in order to have a shot at winning
Fire Nats GM Rizzo – it’s his inability to assemble a bullpen for last 4 years. Not able to lead past Div champ either.
TC Zencka – you used “belied” wrong.
“more than once mental mistakes on the basepaths have belied his age and put him on the wrong end of the highlight reel.”
His baserunning would have belied his age if he ran with great veteran aplomb and savvy.
The mental mistakes, exposed, showed, and revealed his (young) age.
Newsflash, he’s human, nobody cares.
Ah, yes, you passed the test. Good work, spinach. You are now TC Zencka. Having found my successor, I can retire finally to the lands of my ancestors to live out the last of my days in peace.
Martinez is absolutely clueless Another abject failure by Rizzo and the Lerners. Taylor is and has been a career minor leaguer. Nats are cooked this year. Tickets to games will be easy and cheaper if you have nothing else to do
How can you blame Martinez for that bullpen mess and the injuries they’ve faced this season?
Rich Hill’s Elbow
They already have an extremely talented young core in Robles, Soto, Kieboom, and Turner; with Garcia on the way. Why not completely replenish the system by blowing things up??
Imagine how much Rendon, Scherzer, Doolittle, Strasburg, and Corbin could bring back in return… The Nats could easily be contenders again in 2-3 years.
Nobody is giving much for Corbin at that Salary. Strasburg is too injury prone and too expensive to return much. The Nats have made their beds with that money.
Rich Hill’s Elbow
I’m guessing their first move will be trading Doolittle, perhaps to the Twins?
Martinez cannot manage. He will be gone by July 4th.
Start lining up teams to trade for Rendon as he will not sign with Nats for next year .