The Nationals announced a series of roster moves today. Most notably, setup man Daniel Hudson has been placed on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation. Meanwhile, Erick Fedde was reinstated from the injured list, and Jefry Rodriguez had his contracted selected from Triple-A.
The Nats also selected the contract of Andres Machado, whom they immediately optioned so that they could select him as the 27th man in today’s doubleheader. To make room on the active roster, outfielder Yadiel Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Rochester. To make room on the 40-man roster, Will Harris was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
The most consequential move here is undoubtedly the short-term loss of Hudson, who has been a key figure in the Nats pen this season. The man who closed out the 2019 World Series has continued his career renaissance in Washington this season with a 2.59 ERA/2.74 FIP in 23 outings totaling 24 1/3 innings. Hudson has been a rock out of the pen, picking up 11 holds while striking out a career-high 37.2 percent of opponents and only walking 7.4 percent of batters.
With Harris out long-term and Hudson now out as well, the Nats are entering an experimental period when it comes to setting up closer Brad Hand. Tanner Rainey is the most likely to take on those responsibilities, but he has struggled with his command this season. Wander Suero, Kyle Finnegan, and Sam Clay are also likely to continue to see a lot of action out of the pen.
Hernandez has been a fun story for the Nats this season, and his demotion here is probably temporary. With Juan Soto and Kyle Schwarber in the outfield corners, Hernandez doesn’t have a path to regular playing time. Injuries to the pitching staff have left the Nats routinely short-handed this season as well, hence the need for an additional arm.
Getting Fedde off the injured list should help. He’ll jump right back into the starting rotation today. With Max Scherzer leaving yesterday’s game in the first inning and a doubleheader scheduled today, the Nats are in particular need of a lengthy outing from Fedde, who owns a 4.35 ERA/4.42 FIP in 39 1/3 innings this year over eight starts.
Rodriguez and Machado may very quickly find themselves of use to manager Davey Martinez. Rodriguez was a Nats farmhand who was traded to the Indians as part of the Yan Gomes trade back in 2018. He may now find himself throwing to Gomes after returning to the Nats on a minor league deal this winter.
Machado is back in the bigs for the first time since 2017, when he made two appearances for the Royals. The 28-year-old has allowed just one earned run in 9 1/3 innings at Triple-A for the Nats this season.