Austin Voth is recovering from surgery to repair multiple fractures in his nose, and though the Nationals right-hander is feeling fine after getting hit by a fastball during Sunday’s game in Philadelphia, he will need some time to heal before returning to pitch.
In addition to needing to have his nose reset in multiple places during Monday’s surgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Voth’s left eye is swollen shut. He posted a message to his Instagram account thanking the doctors and nurses who treated him “for the great hospitality and setting me straight.”
The Nationals officially placed Voth on the 10-day injured list this afternoon, a move that is retroactive to Monday. That would make him eligible to return June 17, but manager Davey Martinez suggested it may be a while until he’s ready to pitch again.
“He’s doing fine; we just have to get the swelling down,” Martinez said during his Zoom session with reporters prior to tonight’s game in St. Petersburg, Fla. “He’s going to be out for some time, until we can get the swelling (down) and get his eyes back open. Then we’ll go from there.”
Unlike Max Scherzer’s broken nose incident from two years ago, in which the ace pitched the night after fouling a bunt off his face during batting practice, Voth will be unable to perform any strenuous activities for a while.
“Everybody was asking me about Max when he broke his nose. This is a little bit different,” Martinez said. “(Voth) broke his nose in a few places. So he might miss some time.”
Well wishes have poured in to Voth and the Nationals since Sunday’s frightening moment. Martinez said Phillies manager Joe Girardi called him today to check on the right-hander’s progress.
Once Voth is cleared to return to the field, he will probably need to reacquaint himself with game-like situations. Now a full-time reliever who was only starting Sunday because the team needed a one-time fill-in, he won’t be batting. But he may still need to get over the psychological hurdle of standing on the mound and not fearing a comebacker off the bat.
“I won’t ask him to bunt for a while, that’s for sure,” Martinez said. “The good thing is, it didn’t happen with him getting hit with a line drive. Hopefully, he gets back on the mound, and we’ll see how he does. Before he comes out, I’d like to either get him in a (simulated) game, so he’s feeling comfortable facing hitters again. Or if we have to send him out (on a minor league rehab assignment), we will send him out. But we’ll see how he reacts once he gets throwing again.”
Fedde, who has been on the COVID-19 IL since learning he had tested positive May 19, made a five-inning rehab start for Single-A Wilmington on Saturday and has since rejoined the Nationals. He was at Tropicana Field today to throw a bullpen session, so he should be on track to start for the Nationals sometime this weekend against the Giants.