In what has become an all-too-familiar refrain for Nationals fans, right-hander Koda Glover has suffered a setback in his rehab from a forearm strain and will be shut down entirely for the next six weeks, manager Dave Martinez told reporters Thursday (link via Sam Fortier of the Washington Post). Glover received a platelet-rich plasma injection at the recommendation of Dr. James Andrews after experiencing elbow pain in a recent throwing session.
Once touted as the Nationals’ potential closer of the future, Glover has instead seen his career punctuated by a series of prolonged absences due to injury. Since his debut in 2016, the now-26-year-old Glover has missed time due to a torn labrum in his hip, multiple shoulder injuries and a lower back injury as well. High as the organization’s expectations for Glover have been, he’s managed to tally just 55 1/3 innings as a big leaguer dating back to 2016. In that time, the former eighth-round pick has a 4.55 ERA (4.00 FIP) with 6.8 K/9, 3.4 BB.9, 0.81 HR/9, a 41.4 percent ground-ball rate and an average fastball velocity of 96.2 mph.
Despite that minimal workload, Glover has spent enough time on the Major League disabled list/injured list to qualify for arbitration eligibility this offseason. While some might peg him as a potential non-tender candidate, there’d be little risk in retaining him. His lack of innings, particularly in his platform 2019 campaign, would make his raise rather minimal. Glover also has a pair of minor league options remaining, which enhances his appeal moving forward. And the Nationals, who carry MLB’s worst bullpen ERA, aren’t exactly in a position to be parting with any relievers they believe to be talented — even if Glover’s absence has contributed to the current state of the Washington bullpen.