Though he’s not in today’s lineup, and may not be for a few more days, Juan Soto believes he avoided any serious injury to his left calf during Sunday’s loss to the Marlins.
Soto said the MRI he underwent late Sunday showed that “everything was fine” and that he’s only dealing with tightness in the calf. He won’t play this afternoon’s series finale against Miami but hopes to return sometime during this week’s series at the Phillies.
“We’re going to be good,” he said. “They said it’s just a little bit tight. It’s going to take a couple days to see, and then go. It all depends how I’m feeling day by day.”
Soto hurt himself while tracking down Bryan De La Cruz’s third-inning double off the wall in right field. After retrieving the ball, planting and making a long throw to second base, he felt his left leg “grab.” It wasn’t enough to pull him from the game at that point, but after he ran the bases in the bottom of the fourth, he realized it was best if he departed and not risk anything worse.
“I just felt a little tight behind my knee; it was kind of my calf,” he said. “After the play, the double by De La Cruz, I threw the ball and something just grabbed me right there and it stays and stays and stays. And I think my other at-bat, the rundown, it didn’t feel that way. So I just took the decision to come out of the game and make sure everything’s fine before I keep going and make things worse.”
Soto went to undergo his MRI right after the game, which the Nationals lost 7-4 in 10 innings, and learned results later Sunday night. He arrived at Nationals Park about 90 minutes before first pitch today, walking in with a slight limp.
With Soto out, Lane Thomas is starting in right field. Josh Bell was bumped up to the No. 2 spot in the lineup, with Nelson Cruz moved up to the No. 3 spot.
* Tetreault lands on IL
Jackson Tetreault was placed on the 15-day injured list this morning with a stress fracture of his right scapula, a frustrating development for the rookie who had turned some heads in his first few weeks in the big leagues.
Tetreault said he felt some discomfort in the back of his shoulder as he warmed up for Saturday’s start but was able to proceed and pitch as scheduled. He struggled with command, though, consistently yanking his fastball to his glove side and missing the strike zone outside to right-handed hitters.
After the game, Tetreault said he had trouble lifting his arm, at which point he realized he needed to notify the Nationals training staff. He underwent an MRI, which revealed the stress fracture.
“I think it’s probably something that’s been lingering for a little while now,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to coming back strong and healthy and believing I’ll be better when I’m fully healthy.”
The Nationals, for now, are using Tetreault’s roster spot on an extra reliever and called up right-hander Jordan Weems. They’ll need another starter by Thursday in Philadelphia, though, and will have to decide who to summon for that assignment.
Veteran Aníbal Sánchez likely won’t be ready to come off the IL, having just made his second rehab start for Triple-A Rochester on Sunday. Left-hander Josh Rogers said he’s scheduled to make his second rehab start Wednesday, this time for Double-A Harrisburg, though he admitted those plans could change.
Joan Adon, who spent the season’s first two-plus months in the Nats rotation before getting demoted to Rochester, would be another option. It’s possible the club could consider promoting top prospect Cade Cavalli, but general manager Mike Rizzo has consistently suggested the right-hander needs to show more consistency at Triple-A before getting called up.
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