Suzuki undergoes MRI on elbow, Gomes starts, Barrera arrives

ATLANTA - Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki said he felt “some tinglings, zings” in his elbow on a throw to second base in Saturday’s game against the Braves. Suzuki was removed from the game and replaced by Raudy Read.

Suzuki underwent an MRI, but results have not been released.

“I just felt something in my elbow,” Suzuki said. “One of the things that happens, I guess, in baseball. Some tingling, zings. But just a little sore today. Should be good.

“It’s always concerning. Doctors saw me and all that stuff, get some treatment, little rest for a couple days, see how it feels and kind of take the next step.”

The Nationals announced they have selected the contract of Double-A Harrisburg catcher Tres Barrera and recalled and transferred catcher Spencer Kieboom to the 60-day injured list with elbow inflammation to create a spot on the 40-man roster.

“I’m going to be optimistic and hope that it’s some kind of inflammation and nothing beyond that,” said manager Davey Martinez. “Until the doctor reads the MRI, we won’t know.”

Gomes-Catches-Popup-Blue-Sidebar.jpgYan Gomes takes over for Suzuki to catch Max Scherzer today. Suzuki has full confidence that Gomes will do just fine.

“Yan knows what he’s doing back there, obviously,” Suzuki said. “Me and Yan always talk. We got a great relationship. We are constantly talking on the bench about certain things so I’ll be there and if he needs any questions he’ll ask.”

Martinez said Scherzer and Gomes have been working last night and today, preparing for the start.

“They’ve already met (before the game),” Martinez said. “They’ve already talked. Yan’s caught him before, earlier in the season. I think they’ll be fine. Max and Yan are both veteran guys, so they’ll work it out.”

Suzuki said the elbow feels better this morning, but he’s taking this slowly.

“Just a little sore,” Suzuki said. “Obviously, you are preparing for the worst. Maybe it’s because I only slept five hours last night, but it’s not too bad. We’ll see. Obviously not going to be doing any throwing or anything like that. Hopefully, the sooner the better.”

So what will the next two days be like for Suzuki? The Nats desperately need their two veteran catchers down the stretch as they go for a playoff spot.

“Well, it has to be, right? Has to be OK,” Suzuki said. “Just kind of get treatment and kind of take it day by day, take a couple of days off. We have a day off tomorrow luckily enough and then Minnesota test it out and see how it feels. Obviously going to be smart about it. At the same time, not much time left coming down to the end in the playoff chase you want to be out there. Like I said, it has to be OK.”

The 24-year-old Barrera was still in Harrisburg, Pa., last night after the Senators had been eliminated from the Eastern League playoffs when he got the call from his skipper.

“Last night, I was watching the Texas/LSU (football) game - I went to Texas,” Barrera said. “I was a little mad because we were getting beat and then (Matt) LeCroy called me and he let me know. It was kind of surreal. I couldn’t really believe it, but I’m here. It’s still kind of hitting me, still kind of don’t really know what’s happening, but I’m just happy to be here.”

“I got on a flight at 6 a.m. and got here about 7:45 a.m. I really didn’t know how to get in, so the security guard kind of toured me around and got me in here. I was the first one in here, so I was like, what do I do?”

Barrera hit .249 with 23 doubles, eight homers and 46 RBIs in 101 games for Harrisburg this season, his first full campaign in Double-A. He said having a lot of experienced players alongside him in Harrisburg really helped him mature as a player this season.

“Just the consistency of it all,” Barrera said. “We had the opportunity to have a lot of veteran guys that have played up here at the highest level with Aaron Barrett being a big leader in that clubhouse. Just showing how to be a true professional each and every day.

“Also, having Spencer Kieboom there was also really, really huge, Michael A. Taylor, Adri├ín Sanchez. Not so much the on the field stuff, but getting your body ready and just going through the everyday grind. How to get the best out of yourself every single day.”

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