Cade Cavalli’s removal from Tuesday night’s start for Triple-A Rochester was for precautionary reasons, and the Nationals’ top pitching prospect appears to have avoided serious injury.
Cavalli came out of Rochester’s game against Omaha in the fourth inning after throwing a pitch and immediately motioning to the dugout. Red Wings manager Matthew LeCroy told Rochester-based reporter Dan Glickman the issue was with a finger on Cavalli’s throwing hand.
“He had a little thing on his finger,” LeCroy told Glickman. “It wasn’t really a blister, it was a little small piece of skin that got pulled off his finger. He wanted to keep going, but we thought it would be best not to. I think we got it at the right time, so I don’t think it’s going to be an issue.”
Cavalli had been dominating for a second straight start, allowing one unearned run while striking out six through 3 2/3 innings. This after he carried a perfect game into the sixth inning of his previous start. Over his last seven starts, the 2020 first round pick sports a 2.15 ERA, 0.850 WHIP and 43 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings.
Cavalli, along with Single-A Wilmington infielder Darren Baker, was selected to represent the Nationals in Saturday’s All-Star Futures Game at Dodger Stadium. His status for that exhibition is unclear at this point.
* The Nationals called up right-hander Cory Abbott from Rochester to serve as their designated 27th man for today’s doubleheader. He’s available out of the bullpen for both games.
This is the second time Abbott has been promoted in advance of a doubleheader, having also served as the 27th man for the Nats’ June 17 twinbill against the Phillies. He didn’t appear in either of those games, but the Nationals kept him on the active roster through the rest of that weekend and put him on the mound for one inning of relief June 19, in which he retired the side with one strikeout.
Abbott was optioned back to Triple-A after that and has made three starts since, allowing only two earned runs in 11 1/3 innings. His most recent outing came July 7, so he’s fresh and available for long relief today if needed.
Claimed off waivers from the Giants in May, Abbott has a 5.55 ERA and 1.685 WHIP in nine games (five starts) for Rochester this season.
* Josh Rogers made the fourth start of his minor league rehab assignment Tuesday night, allowing four runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings for Double-A Harrisburg. The left-hander, out since early June with a shoulder impingement, appears to be stretched out enough now to come off the 15-day injured list having thrown 85 pitches in this latest outing.
The Nationals need a fill-in starter sometime this weekend against the Braves to account for Tuesday night’s postponement and today’s day-night doubleheader against the Mariners. Rogers would potentially be an option to start Sunday’s first-half finale against Atlanta.