11:37AM: In a change of course, the Nationals have now placed Robles on the 10-day IL (retroactive to May 20) due to the right ankle sprain. No corresponding move has been announced with less than a half-hour before the Nats take the field against the Orioles, so the Nats will only have 25 active players today.
11:33AM: The Nationals placed right-hander Will Harris on the 10-day injured list today, as Harris is again bothered by right hand inflammation. The same injury sent Harris to the IL earlier this season and kept him from making his season debut until May 4. Righty Kyle McGowin has been called up from Triple-A to take Harris’ spot on the active roster.
Harris had a blood clot removed from his right arm back in March, and there was some thought that he might require thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, though that much more extensive procedure wasn’t necessary. That said, Harris was still dealing with inflammation almost a month after the blood clot’s removal, and it seems as though it has been a persistent problem for the veteran reliever that finally required another IL visit.
Needless to say, Harris’ pitching has been impacted by his injury, as he has a 9.00 ERA over six innings this season. Yesterday’s rough outing against the Orioles might have been the proverbial last straw, as Harris faced three Baltimore hitters and allowed two runs without recording an out in an eventual 12-9 Washington victory.
In other injury news for the District team, Victor Robles isn’t in today’s starting lineup, as the outfielder continues to nurse a sprained right ankle. Robles hasn’t played since suffering the injury on Wednesday, and X-rays on Robles’ ankle were negative and an MRI revealed the sprain.
Manager Davey Martinez told MASNsports.com’s Mark Zuckerman and other reporters that Robles did some hitting off a tee yesterday. Since the Nationals don’t have a game on Monday, Martinez said the hope is that two more days off will allow Robles to be ready by Tuesday, so a trip to the injured list can be avoided. Andrew Stevenson has been filling in as the Nats’ center fielder while Robles is sidelined, and Yadiel Hernandez is also on hand for further outfield depth.
Robles’ injury is particularly poorly timed, as he had a 1.206 OPS over his last 20 plate appearances and was showing signs of emerging from his season-long slump. Even with that hot streak, Robles was hitting only .246/.348/.325 over 133 PA, but was still helping the Nationals with his customary strong defense up the middle.