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.