Though he’s not in tonight’s lineup, Luis García said he’s fine after suffering a minor groin strain during Friday night’s game against the Padres.
The young Nationals shortstop had an MRI this morning to determine the extent of the injury, which he suffered while running out a groundball in the sixth inning of a 10-5 loss. Manager Davey Martinez referred to the ailment as “a little bit of a strain in his left groin,” and said García will be day-to-day until it heals.
“I want him to get treatment today,” Martinez said. “Hopefully later on he’s available to pinch-hit. We’ll see how it goes.”
The groin injury came only two days after Garcia had to leave a game in Chicago with a sore knee, creating at least some concern about the state of the 22-year-old’s legs, and raising the question of whether the organization might be on the verge of promoting recently acquired shortstop C.J. Abrams.
Had García gone on the injured list, it’s possible the Nationals would’ve replaced him on the roster with Abrams, one of the key prospects they got last week from San Diego for Juan Soto and Josh Bell. The 21-year-old shortstop entered the day batting .296 (8-for-27) with two doubles, two RBIs, four stolen bases and a .725 OPS in seven games for Triple-A Rochester.
At the time of the trade on Aug. 2, club officials suggested Abrams would likely be called up after a week or two getting acclimated to the organization at Triple-A. So far, that move hasn’t come. For now, veteran utilityman Ildemaro Vargas is starting in García’s place at shortstop.
“We know what he’s doing, obviously, every day,” Martinez said of Abrams. “We’ll see how this turns out. There’s always going to be discussions on if something does happen, who are we going to bring up. But right now, Vargas is going to play.”
* Nelson Cruz also came out of Friday night’s game, in this case due to dizzy spells that had Martinez briefly concerned.
“I don’t take chances when somebody says they’re dizzy, so we took him out,” the manager said. “But by the time he went home yesterday, he said he felt a lot better. Got some sleep, came in today. I told him why don’t you move around and hit, do some stuff, and he did that and said he felt good.”
Cruz took swings in the batting cage this afternoon and told the training staff he felt fine, so he’s back in the lineup and batting third. The 42-year-old designated hitter remains in a prolonged slump; over his last 32 games, he’s batting .189/.274/.216 with three doubles and zero homers.
* Patrick Corbin remains scheduled to start Tuesday against the Cubs after having his last turn in the rotation skipped.
Corbin, who failed to get out of the first inning in two of his last three outings, was bumped from what would’ve been his regularly scheduled start Friday night so he could work on several things in the bullpen with pitching coach Jim Hickey and members of the Nationals’ video and analytics staff.
The left-hander threw an extended bullpen session at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, then returned to the mound today at Nationals Park for a more traditional between-starts session that left his manager very encouraged.
“He threw the ball exceptionally well,” Martinez said. “It was good to see. He’ll start on Tuesday.”
* Erick Fedde, who threw three innings in a simulated game Friday afternoon, will now make a rehab start for Rochester on Wednesday. The right-hander, out since July 30 with inflammation in his shoulder, is slated for 75-80 pitches in his rehab start, after which he could be activated off the 15-day IL and rejoin the Nats rotation.
* MacKenzie Gore made 25 throws from 75 feet this afternoon. The left-hander, also part of last week’s trade with the Padres, is slowly ramping his arm back up after landing on the IL with inflammation in his elbow. Martinez said he’s next scheduled to throw up to 90 feet.