The Nationals have activated outfielder Juan Soto and right-hander Wander Suero from the injured list, the team announced. Outfielder Andrew Stevenson was optioned to the alternate training site to open one roster spot, while the team’s recent placement of Will Harris on the IL left them with an existing vacancy.
Soto isn’t in tonight’s lineup, manager Dave Martinez told reporters (Twitter thread via Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com), but he’s available to pinch-hit. Soto himself told the club that he felt he needed at least another day to get up to speed for a full nine-inning game. The 21-year-old has yet to play this season since testing positive for Covid-19 on Opening Day and also missed much of the team’s Summer Camp, so he’s a bit behind. Recently signed utilityman Josh Harrison is getting the nod in left field in Soto’s place tonight.
The Nats have gone 3-4 in Soto’s absence. Their schedule has been partly interrupted by the Marlins’ Covid-19 outbreak, as the Nats were scheduled to face the Fish over the weekend but saw that series postponed due to ongoing health concerns with the Miami organization. In a way, the Nationals will benefit from that postponement, as they’ll now likely have Soto back in the fold for three games he’d have otherwise missed. For the time being, they’ll host the Mets for the first of a two-game set. Washington’s next dozen games will come against the Mets and the Orioles. Soto won’t be back in the everyday lineup right out of the gate, but he’ll be back in the heart of the order before long.