The Nationals hung on for a 4-2 win over the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLDS on Friday, but they may have suffered a major loss in the process. Center fielder Victor Robles departed after laying down a sacrifice bunt in the top of the eighth inning. He’s dealing with a tweaked hamstring and is day-to-day at the moment, Jamal Collier of MLB.com tweets.
The severity of Robles’ injury isn’t clear yet, but the Nationals know all too well that a hamstring tweak can lead to a long absence. Reliever Roenis Elias received the same diagnosis a month ago and hasn’t pitched since. If Robles’ issue is similarly severe, he might not play again in 2019.
An elite prospect during his days in Washington’s farm system, Robles has emerged as a strong contributor during his first full MLB campaign, evidenced by his 2.5 fWAR in 617 plate appearances. Robles didn’t show off Juan Soto-esque dominance with the bat in the regular season, when he hit .255/.326/.419 with 17 home runs, though he did swipe 28 bases and perform brilliantly as a defender. He led all MLB outfielders in DRS (24) and finished eighth in UZR (7.0).
When Robles exited Friday, Washington replaced him with Michael A. Taylor – a lesser hitter than Robles who also brings speed and defense to the table. Taylor and Gerardo Parra joined Robles as the only members of the club who garnered starts in center in the regular season. Parra’s also on the Nats’ five-outfielder NLDS roster, and if the team wants to keep that setup intact in the event Robles misses time, it could call on Andrew Stevenson as a replacement.