What are Nationals' options if Gallo goes on IL?

DETROIT – The Nationals won’t know for sure until later today when they get test results on Joey Gallo’s left hamstring, but the image from the top of the seventh Tuesday night kind of said it all.

Running down the line on a grounder to second, Gallo grabbed his upper left leg as he approached first base. He walked gingerly back to the dugout afterward. And he was subsequently replaced in the field by Joey Meneses for the bottom of the inning.

Barring an unexpected quick healing process, Gallo probably isn’t going to be able to play tonight. And unless they can be sure he’ll be ready to return within the next 24-48 hours, the Nats probably are going to have to place him on the 10-day injured list.

Which is why they were already contemplating late Tuesday night their options for calling a player up from Triple-A Rochester to take his spot on the roster.

“We’re probably going to get somebody on the move,” manager Davey Martinez said. “I don’t know yet. We’ll just see what happens. But we’ll definitely have someone on the move.”

If the Nationals do make the move, they have multiple options, depending on how they would want to proceed at first base with Gallo out.

If they believe Joey Meneses can handle the job full-time, they could call up just about anybody from the minors and rotate the DH position among several players. But if they’re not certain Meneses is up to the challenge after a ragged opening two months to his season, they may believe they need to bring up an actual first base replacement for Gallo.

Juan Yepez would be the likeliest choice in that scenario. The 26-year-old has 104 games of big league experience with the Cardinals the last two seasons, and he’s been Rochester’s primary first baseman so far this season, with a .758 OPS in 56 games.

Yepez isn’t on the 40-man roster, but the Nats currently have two openings, so it wouldn’t require any corresponding moves to add him.

If club officials are willing to give the first base job to Meneses, who has a .581 OPS in 54 games and actually hadn’t seen any action in four days before he was summoned off the bench Tuesday night, that would open the door to a number of other potential call-ups.

Trey Lipscomb was the player promoted to the majors when Gallo hurt his shoulder in late April. The utility infielder isn’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball at Triple-A, with a .576 OPS and zero homers in 24 games. But his defensive versatility continues to make him an attractive option and would allow Martinez to use Nick Senzel, Luis Garcia Jr. and even Meneses as DH on a rotating basis.

Rochester’s best player this season undoubtedly is James Wood, but the top outfield prospect remains on the minor league IL with a hamstring strain of his own, so he’s not a viable option at this point.

Outfielder Travis Blankenhorn leads the team with 15 homers and 45 RBIs, but he spent time in D.C. last summer and showed little after homering in his first of 10 games.

Riley Adams was recently demoted, replaced in the majors by Drew Millas. At the time, Martinez said he wanted to give the catcher some playing time at first base in case there was a need at the major league level at some point. Well, there is a need now, but Adams has yet to actually appear in a game at first base since his demotion.

And for those wondering whatever happened to Stone Garrett, the popular outfielder who broke his leg last August is struggling to get his career back on track. Garrett is batting .183 at Rochester and has only one extra-base hit in 82 plate appearances. He also hasn’t physically been able to play three days in a row since coming off the 60-day IL.

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