Nationals lefty Sean Doolittle has been diagnosed with a right oblique strain, manager Dave Martinez tells reporters (Twitter link via Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post). The exact results of his MRI aren’t yet available, but Martinez described Doolittle’s injury as a “pretty good” strain. Left-hander Ben Braymer is up from the Nats’ alternate site to take his spot on the roster, and the Nats have formally announced that Doolittle is on the 10-day injured list.
It’s a tough blow for the 33-year-old Doolittle, who missed about three weeks in August due to knee troubles. He hadn’t looked right prior to his first IL stint, but Doolittle didn’t allow an earned run in 4 2/3 innings upon activation late last month. His velocity was down early in the year, and while it hadn’t yet returned to its typical levels, Doolittle’s heater had shown some more life this month.
There’s no specific timeline provided for his return, but even low-grade oblique strains can sideline players for around a month at a time. Given that there are only 16 days remaining in the regular season, it’s eminently possible — if not probable — that Doolittle will not return before the 2020 campaign draws to a close. With the Nats all but out of postseason contention and Doolittle slated to become a free agent this winter, one can’t help but wonder whether yesterday’s early departure marked the end of what has been a highly successful tenure in D.C.
Acquired alongside Ryan Madson back in 2017, Doolittle has spent parts of four seasons in the Nationals organization — much of it as the team’s closer. He’s racked up 142 2/3 innings of 3.03 ERA ball with 10.3 K/9 against just 2.1 BB/9 en route to 75 saves during the regular season. Doolittle’s postseason work has been even better, as he’s allowed just two runs on seven hits and a walk with 12 punchouts in 13 1/3 innings across the 2017 and 2019 playoffs. Doolittle tallied three saves and three holds in that time.
The trade cost the Nationals a then-19-year-old Jesus Luzardo, who was recovering from Tommy John surgery at the time. Still, it’s hard to say that it hasn’t worked out for the Nats. Madson was brilliant down the stretch in ’17, and Doolittle has been a mainstay in the bullpen since the time of his acquisition, ultimately closing out Game 1 and Game 6 in last year’s World Series.
This trade seems to have worked out for both sides. Luzardo is still only 22 years old and looks like he can be a solid #2 for the better part of a decade (if he can stay healthy). Plus Oakland had a surplus of quality bullpen arms so they could afford to move Doolittle and his higher salary for a young, highly regarded starting pitcher.
arthur blank_for owner
Anyone else notice the warmup he was doing in the bullpen last night? He twists his body opposite of his pitching motion or something…I’m sure he does that all the time and has nothing to with the strain, but I did think how odd of a warmup it was.
That trade did not work out for the Nationals. Doolittle significantly impacted 1 inning of their WS run. I’ll take Luzardo and take my chances with Blake Treinen for that inning. Nats missed out on a Scherzer, Strasburg, Corbin, Giolito and Luzardo rotation.
Blake Treinen. Oh please.
If you’re going to perform you’re usual trolling act than at least try a little harder.
Yeah, so instead of holding onto Giolito, they traded him for Adam Eaton, which allowed them to let Harper go. Allowing them to use the Harper money instead to sign Corbin and at least two or three others who helped DING DING DING win them a ring in ’19. Luzardo hasnt even blossomed so who knows at this point.
Good ole MLBTR; Posters/trolls who are more focused on winning trades than winning rings.
Yes Blake Treinen who has been a better relief pitcher since the trade than Doolittle has. Eaton has been decent for the Nats until now but you think Giolito would have done nothing to help them win last year??? LOL its not trolling to state the obvious in that the Nats blew a few trades. If they had Giolito and Luzardo they could have used Corbins funds to help bring back Harper. We can play this game all day.
You can play the game, and get pounded into the ground like most of the trolls like you on here do.
Treinen and Doo have their ups and downs since 2017. “Doolittle significantly impacted 1 inning of their WS run” — what? Doolittle 2.50 ERA last postseason. You’re suggesting they wouldve been better off with Treinen and his 4.91 ERA during the WS run?! LOL, what drugs are you on?
Corbin basically performed at a level in the postseason that Harper never did in DC. The day Eaton got here, Harper’s days were numbered.. And he knew it, per his 1-word response to the trade on social media. Luzardo hasnt even blossomed yet, so let’s see what happens with him before crowning him as a messiah
Never said Giolito would have done nothing last season, and never said that The Nats havent blown a few trades. Those are your straw man arguments. You wanna go on a WS run, you sometimes have to let go of studs like Giolito in trades.
And speaking of the WS, that WS trophy last Fall must’ve boiled your trollsy wolesy blood, what with all that troll hate you have. Peed right down yer leg I’ll bet LOL.
Ah yes everyone who does not want to bow down to the Nationals is a troll. Funny thing is I rooted for them to beat Houston before the cheating scandal so no the world is not out to get the Nats. Critical thinking is hard for you. Doolittle did not pitch in the WC game. In the NLDS he gave up a moonshot to Muncy the only close game he pitched in. The series was won the moment Howie hit a grand slam so closing that series out means nothing, that game was over. They flat out embarrassed the Cardinals and Doolittle or not, Nats were winning that series easy. And like I said he impacted 1 inning, game 1 of the WS. Just because they won the WS doesn’t mean you get a pass on every trade you made. Ypu must not have been paying enough attention to your own teams WS run because Doolittle was not making the impact you think.
Question: Who cares if a guy with a POSTSEASON ERA of 1.53 with 3 SAVES AND 3 HOLDS since joining Washington in ’17 gave up a HR to Max flippin Muncy?
Answer: Only Trolls who apparently have so much time on their hands that they flag articles on other teams to desperately split anecdotal hairs to TRY to make a point. Or no point, actually.
No, not everyone who doesnt bow down to the Nats is a troll. Only you.
No one forced YOU to suggest that The Nats wouldve been better off with Treinen and his 4.91 ERA during the WS run. You came up with that gem on your own — reeeeeeal critical thinking there.
And your poorly devised straw man arguments are tiresome. I never suggested Doolittle made a GREAT impact LY. You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. Do you know ANYTHING about this team, or do you just troll these Nats articles because there’s nothing else for you to do in your life?
It’s fine,his dads’a doctor
maybe doolittle should focus more on baseball and less on politics. maybe, he could avoid the DL and actually be effective.
It’s looking to me like Doo is toast. He’s having trouble staying healthy, and even when he had been able to pitch, he’s lost velo and spin rate on his FB. He can’t get by with just high heat anymore, and adding an off speed pitch has been inconsistent.
Hopefully he will come back strong in ‘21 and prove me wrong, but it don’t look good.