Nationals superstar Juan Soto is making progress on the clearance process to rejoin the team. He has been cleared to resume action by Major League Baseball after receiving two negative coronavirus tests, manager Dave Martinez told reporters including Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic (Twitter link). Jon Heyman of MLB Network had previously tweeted the news.
Trouble is, Soto still has one more hurdle to clear. He’s in need of approval from the Washington, D.C. Department of Health. The hope is that authorization can be obtained in time for Soto to suit up on August 1st.
While the Nats would have preferred not to go without Soto at all, this still rates as generally promising news. He ought to be able to participate in the bulk of the 2020 contests. Unfortunately, the club is already in a hole after a 1-4 start.
The Nats are also still waiting for co-ace Stephen Strasburg, who has experienced nerve irritation in his hand. He’ll skip another start tomorrow, with Erick Fedde taking the ball in his place. It does sound as if Stras is nearing readiness to ramp back up.