Twelve days after first getting ill and being forced to isolate in his Pittsburgh hotel, Nationals utilityman Dee Strange-Gordon will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester.
Strange-Gordon is leading off and playing shortstop for the Red Wings, his first competitive game since he served as a last-ditch relief pitcher during an April 12 loss in Atlanta. Two days later, he was supposed to be in the Nats lineup for their series opener against the Pirates, but was sent back to the team hotel with an illness that has never been officially disclosed by the club.
The Nationals placed Strange-Gordon on an unspecified injured list the following day, one that removed him from the organization’s 40-man roster, which has been the fate for other players who tested positive for COVID-19 over the last two seasons. He was allowed to drive himself home to D.C. a couple of days later, but remained in quarantine until recently.
Because of that time off with no ability to work out, Strange-Gordon is going to need some time to get himself back into playing shape again. He was at Nationals Park on Monday for a workout, and manager Davey Martinez said “he got tired pretty quickly.”
“He didn’t do much (while quarantined),” Martinez said. “With him, he’s built for speed and putting the ball in play, stuff like that. We’re going to get him to play some outfield, some middle infield while he’s down there. I’ll stay in touch with (Rochester manager Matt LeCroy) and see how he’s doing every day. I talked to Dee and I told him: ‘When you feel like you’re ready, just let us know and we’ll keep eyes on you.’ ”