“I’m a little concerned,” manager Davey Martinez said that night. “Whenever it’s an oblique, that’s going to be days missed.”
Adams did miss three days, but that’s all he missed. He’s back in the lineup for this afternoon’s game against the Diamondbacks, and it turns out the injury wasn’t to his oblique after all.
“It was just a back spasm kind of deal,” Martinez said today. “But he felt it. He said he felt it where his oblique was. He’s had (that) before, so he got nervous.”
So did the Nationals. They contemplated putting Adams on the injured list before Tuesday’s game against the White Sox, but ultimately decided to wait. They figured they could afford to play one game in an American League park with a short bench, then take advantage of Wednesday’s off-day to give Adams more time to heal before making the final call.
When Adams reported for work Thursday, he told club officials he was doing better and was able to take batting practice. So the club decided he wouldn’t need to go on the IL. He wasn’t in Friday night’s lineup, but did pinch-hit in the bottom of the seventh. He struck out, but more importantly insisted he felt no ill effects from the injury.
“I asked him: ‘How’d that feel?’ ” Martinez said. “And he said: ‘Nothing. I felt nothing.’ So he’s good.”
So Adams is back in today’s lineup, batting fifth and starting at first base, helping lengthen the Nationals lineup.
For a team that has admittedly made mistakes in the past waiting too long before placing someone on the IL, this situation worked out much better.
“What was good was we had the day off, which helped a lot,” Martinez said. “After the day off, we were glad that we didn’t jump to conclusions and put him on the IL. And he was good. Once they realized it wasn’t his oblique, then they were able to pinpoint what it really was. It worked out for the best for everybody, because we need Matt right now. I’m glad he wasn’t hurt.”