SAN DIEGO – Erick Fedde will come off the injured list and start Tuesday night in Seattle, with Cory Abbott moving to the bullpen for now as the Nationals make the first of several expected changes to their rotation heading into the season’s final month.
Fedde, out since July 25 with right shoulder inflammation, emerged from Wednesday’s rehab start for Triple-A Rochester and a subsequent bullpen session here at Petco Park with no issues and is cleared to come off the 15-day IL for the Nats' series opener against the Mariners.
“Fedde is ready,” manager Davey Martinez said. “He said he felt good, so he’ll start on Tuesday.”
The right-hander’s return necessitates the removal of someone from the current rotation. Martinez said for now that will be Abbott, who is available out of the bullpen for this afternoon’s game against the Padres and could either remain in a relief role moving forward or be optioned to Triple-A once Fedde is officially activated.
Abbott has made four starts for the Nats this month, going 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA, though he has allowed three or fewer runs in three of the four outings. He made three previous relief appearances this summer.
With two off-days coming up this week around the two-game interleague series in Seattle, the Nationals have been afforded the luxury of resetting their rotation however they like. For now, they’ve listed Aníbal Sánchez as Wednesday’s starter against the Mariners. It remains to be seen who pitches this weekend against the Reds, with Cade Cavalli’s major league debut a possibility at some point during the upcoming homestand.
* Luis García packed up his gear this morning and said goodbye to his teammates before heading out to Indianapolis, where he’ll meet the Rochester team for a brief rehab assignment.
García, out since Aug. 6 with a minor groin strain, had been engaged in full team workouts this weekend and is now ready to start playing in games again. He is expected to start at second base for the Red Wings on Tuesday, then likely DH on Wednesday and possibly play one more game for them before coming off the IL on Friday when the Nationals are back home.
“I’m feeling very, very good,” García said. “I don’t feel nothing right now, so I’m good. … I came in and did a lot of work. I feel strong now.”
Prior to suffering his injury, García had only played shortstop for the Nats this season. But with newly acquired shortstop CJ Adams taking over his spot last week, García is now making the transition back to second base. The two young infielders worked together in pregame drills this weekend.
“I’m comfortable there,” García said. “I played a lot over there in 2020. I feel comfortable over there when I go play second base. Yesterday, I go over there and play catch there, I feel comfortable.”
The Nationals believe the switch to the other side of the diamond will help García limit his throwing errors, which became a major issue at shortstop. The lower arm angle he prefers to throw from should be a better fit at second base.
It also helps that the 22-year-old has embraced the switch, and the opportunity to form a long-term bond with the 21-year-old Abrams.
“He’s been great. He’s been awesome,” Martinez said. “He’s a young kid who just wants to play. We’re fortunate that he can play both, but he’s looking forward to playing second base next to CJ.”
* Luke Voit is out of the lineup for the third straight day after twice getting scratched due to back spasms. Martinez made it sound like the 31-year-old first baseman was feeling well enough to play today if needed, but with an off-day up next, there was little reason to push him. They do expect Voit back Tuesday against the Mariners.
* Mackenzie Gore is now throwing from 120 feet as the left-hander builds his arm back up after dealing with elbow inflammation prior to his trade from the Padres to the Nats. Martinez said Gore is on track to start throwing off a mound when the team gets back home at the end of the week. The club is hoping he can make at least a few September starts once he’s deemed healthy.