The Nationals are shutting down right-hander Cade Cavalli for the next two weeks due to shoulder inflammation, tweets Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post. Cavalli will be placed on the 15-day injured list.
At this point, the issue doesn’t seem to be terribly severe. Dougherty relays that Cavalli felt some discomfort in the day after his start and went for an MRI, which showed inflammation but no structural damage. “Everything looks good, except for he has a little bit of inflammation around the capsule,” manager Dave Martinez tells Jessica Camerato of MLB.com. “But the labrum, tendons, the rotator cuff, everything is very, very clean.” Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com relays word from Martinez, who says that they’re not shutting him down for the season because they want him to try to work back to health in the short-term, rather than just focussing on next year’s Spring Training.
The fact that the issue isn’t terribly serious is surely comforting for fans of the club, though the news also has to be at least somewhat deflating. It was just over a year ago that the club kicked off a rebuild by trading away many of their best players, including Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. This year, the club dug themselves even deeper in that hole by trading Juan Soto and Josh Bell. Amid all of that subtraction from the big league roster, one thing for fans to look forward to was the emergence of youngsters, with Cavalli being among the most exciting. Now he’s heading to the IL after just a single big league start and might not even appear again this season. In the long run, Cavalli can hopefully recover and make this minor setback a non-issue.
In the short-term, the club will have to patch over a hole in the rotation. Cory Abbott was optioned when Cavalli was called up and could be a candidate to return. Optioned players normally have to spend at least ten days off the roster before being added back on, though an exception is made when someone is going on the IL. Dougherty reports that Abbott was supposed to throw in Rochester today, the home of Washington’s Triple-A club, but was pulled off.