Juan Soto was placed on the injured list on April 20, so the Nationals have already been without their superstar hitter beyond the 10-day minimum as Soto works his way back from a strained left shoulder. However, manager Davey Martinez updated reporters (including Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com) about Soto’s progress today, noting that Soto has started throwing from 120-foot distances. The next step is for Soto to throw to particular bases, and Zuckerman suggests that if Soto goes through this drill on Monday’s off-day, the outfielder could potentially be activated in time for Tuesday’s game with the Braves.
Throwing is the only real roadblock to Soto’s return, as Martinez said the slugger doesn’t feel any discomfort while swinging. As a result, Soto has been staying sharp at the plate by “hitting off that velo machine, we’ve got machines that throw breaking balls,” Martinez said. Soto was in the process of another big season (.300/.410/.460) in his first 61 plate appearances before heading to the injured list.
More from the NL East…
- The Braves plan to activate Max Fried from the IL so the southpaw can start Wednesday’s game against the Nationals, The Athletic’s David O’Brien tweets. Fried suffered a right hamstring strain while running the bases in an April 13 game against the Marlins that saw Fried allow seven earned runs over four innings of work. After finishing fifth in NL Cy Young voting last season, Fried has struggled to an 11.45 ERA over his first 11 innings of the 2021 campaign.
- Luis Guillorme looks good enough in his recovery from a right oblique strain that the Mets are hopeful he can return after the minimum 10 days on the injured list, manager Luis Rojas told reporters (including Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News). The return of utilityman Guillorme could be particularly helpful to a Mets team that saw third baseman J.D. Davis leave last night’s game due to a hand sprain — Davis also isn’t in tonight’s lineup. Guillorme’s return isn’t quite imminent, however, since his IL placement was only retroactive to April 29. Over the small sample size of 91 plate appearances, Guillorme has hit .333/.440/.413 over the 2020 and 2021 seasons, though he is primarily known for his infield versatility.
Luc (Soto 3rd best in the game)
Nats doing well without Juan. Hopefully he will come back strong and bolster the lineup
Going to the game Thursday so hope he is back for that.
Maybe he will wait till the braves leave town before coming off the IL if I ask nicely.
Very small sample size for Fried. I don’t expect him to be as dominant as he was last year but I do expect him to be much better than he was in his first two or three starts this year (can’t remember exactly how many it was).
Don’t see how the Braves have enough pitching depth for 162?
Not as of right now. If Fried and Soroka both come back strong then the story changes. Those are huge question marks though.
I like Fried’s chances to rebound. Soroka, and I hate to say this, is maybe two injuries away from wearing the dreaded ‘injury prone’ label. It was so brief that everyone who isn’t a Braves fan probably forgets, but Soroka actually debuted in May 2018. He likely would’ve stayed in the rotation the rest of the way had he not had a season-ending injury (neck?) that year. He’s now missing major time in three of his first four seasons.
I will say, too, that Wright or Wilson haven’t had chances to truly make multiple turns through and try to establish themselves. I’m okay with that, but if the Braves are below .500 later in the year, you’ll probably see them replace Morton and Smyly someway. Third year they’re being yo-yoed. Gotta see what you have at some point.
The MiLB season also is going to give the Braves a chance to see when Tucker Davidson or Kyle Muller may be ready to contribute.
Then there’s always the small possibility that Touki may have something click, but that electric arm will is nothing more than fool’s gold at this point.
Jose Peraza had his first hit as a Met tonight, and Villar has been adequate. I know not to expect much, but at least there is a sign that “depth signings” can work out. It is what seemingly every team is in search of as stars like Soto and Fried and just about every other story on these pages highlights pitchers leaving games with forearm soreness and position players with their obliques tweaked. All these guys are wound too tightly. Too much emphasis on 100 mph strikeout pitchers and 118 mph rocket homeruns that turn into Tommy John surgeries and 3 month IL stints.
With Fried coming back, it makes a decision regarding Wilson easier. The rotation will be Fried, Anderson, Morton, Smiley and Ynoa….. near term at least.
Wilson is absolute garbage. He was good in his MLB debut against the Pirates (who suck) and he threw a postseason gem against the Dodgers out of nowhere last year but aside from that he has been trash. He can’t be relied on. Smyly doesn’t need to be starting either. I know they paid him $11 million but at this point I would pay him $11 million to simply stay away. He’s been that awful.
You say Wilson is ‘garbage’ then a few words removed say Wilson threw a gem in the NL championship series against the eventual WS champ.
Wilson is not ‘garbage’ but it remains to be seen whether he can be a starting pitcher for the Braves. He threw that ‘gem’ last year at the age of 22. He is now 23.
That NLCS start last year was amazing but it was a fluke. He hasn’t shown any consistency whatsoever.
You don’t know if it was a ‘fluke’. That may be your short sided opinion based on the performance of a pitcher who is now only 23 and has only a handful of ML starts. But you express your short sided opinions as if they were facts with descriptive terms like ‘garbage’ and ‘fluke’.
I do encounter others like you on opinion boards. They too are boring.
Bryse Wilson has been around (on and off) for like three years. That’s enough of a sample size to realize that he’s not consistent.
I also have no more patience for the lack of championships in this city. The Braves and Falcons (not so much the Hawks) have had tons of talent over the years and only have one championship combined to show for it. I don’t expect dynasties but I do expect to not have 26-year championship droughts.
Wilson has started only 10 ML games over 4 years. He was first called up at the age of 20 and is now 23. Yet you have declared him ‘garbage’, that his good (and only) postseason start a ‘fluke’, and now based on 10 starts total over 4 years, you have declared him inconsistent.
You say you are frustrated with Atlanta sports teams, and you are obviously taking your frustration out on a young unproven and minimally tested Wilson.
I only call it like I see it. It’s the same thing every single start. He gives up a minimum of four runs and he makes at least one throwing error (sometimes more). I don’t expect him to be an ace from the very beginning but I haven’t seen any improvement at all from start to start. All I ask for is progress. I haven’t seen it aside from that one fluke start in the NLCS last year.
We know how you see it. You call a young pitcher with 10 total starts over 4 years ‘garbage’. No make that ‘absolute garbage’. Says it all…….
Where is the progress? I keep seeing the exact same thing every single start. He doesn’t make adjustments.
They also FINALLY develop a very good starting pitcher in Soroka and he’s been injured three of his first four years. He showed in 2019 that he is capable of handling any stage but he can’t stay on the field. This team can’t afford to sign the top free agent pitchers. They need this supposedly great farm system to actually pay off.
Wilson is 23. He may need more time in the minors before he gets another chance to start again on the big club. He had a successful minor league career, top 100 prospect. But that doesn’t mean the transition to big club is easy or automatic. Riley, top 100 prospect, struggled a lot after a fast start on big club. He may be coming around now. But a team can better afford to wait on a position player to develop. A game hinges on a pitcher much more than any one position player. So a pitcher’s struggles are amplified more than say a Riley in terms of W-L..
If the Braves were a bad team, then they might send Wilson out every 5th game and let him figure it out (or not). That’s hard to do when contending when it comes to a pitcher. So, as I said in opening post, with Fried coming back it makes the decision with Wilson easier. He is going to get some time at Gwinnett and try to improve there.
I think Wilson will end up being a great high-leverage reliever. He struggles early, and really struggles his third time through the rotation, but has really good stuff. He sits around 95mph, so imagine his stuff at 97-98 out of the pen. Could be lethal.