The Nationals have made a couple of roster moves, placing infielder Howie Kendrick and left-handed pitcher Roenis Elias on the 10-day injured list, per a club announcement. Javy Guerra, who only just got out of DFA limbo, has been selected and will be added to the 40-man and 25-man roster. Additionally, outfielder Andrew Stevenson has been promoted to the active roster.
Both Kendrick and Elias are suffering from hamstring strains, affecting Kendrick’s left hamstring and Elias’s right. Kendrick’s IL placement comes retroactive to August 1; Elias’s move was not backdated.
For the 31-year-old Elias, the injury comes before he’s had much of a chance to put his chops on display for his new ballclub. The Nats acquired the southpaw on Wednesday’s deadline in hopes that his addition, among others, would bolster a bullpen unit that has been one of baseball’s worst in 2019. Elias only managed to contribute 2/3 of an inning before his Nats tenure will have to be put on hold. Though not a big-name reliever, Elias figures to be critical to the Nationals’ second-half success; outside of closer Sean Doolittle, lefty out-getters have been hard to come by for Washington. Matt Grace has been sent out for 42 1/3 innings despite a 5.95 ERA, which is a far cry from the 2.98 mark that Elias has put up over the last two seasons.
Kendrick, meanwhile, has emerged as a surprisingly valuable offensive piece for the playoff-hopeful Nats; as the top bench option for the team, he ranks third on the team in OPS and RBI. He’s mainly toggled between first, second, and third base as need. If it’s any consolation, the Nationals can at least fall back on capable regulars at those positions in Kendrick’s absence; Matt Adams and Brian Dozier will have to anchor first and second base, though the team will surely miss Kendrick’s pinch-hitting prowess.
Guerra will have to reverse course after being outrighted to Triple-A on Saturday, just before Elias landed on the injured list. He had been designated for assignment on Wednesday, but he’ll reclaim a spot on the Nationals’ 40-man after all. He’s made it into 23 games for Washington this year, posting a 5.40 ERA while striking out 21 batters.
As for the two veterans’ injury timelines, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports provides some clarity (via Twitter), suggesting that both Elias and Kendrick are expected to return when their 10 days are up. According to Zuckerman, Kendrick was placed on the injured list out of precaution rather than necessity, while the strain to Elias was only a mild one.