Martinez on injuries and another IL move

Another day, another roster move for the Nationals.

Right-hander Kyle McGowin is going on the 10-day injured list with a right biceps tendinitis, manager Davey Martinez said during his pregame Zoom session with reporters. Andres Machado is being recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take McGowin’s roster spot.

Thumbnail image for McGowin-Throwing-Blue-Sidebar.jpgMcGowin left Saturday’s game after facing three batters in the sixth inning and working to a 1-1 count against Thairo Estrada. After the 10-4 loss, Martinez said that McGowin had experienced “a little fatigue” and was being examined by the team’s training staff.

By this afternoon, he’d been placed on the IL.

“Just precautionary,” Martinez said Sunday. “He has a little biceps tendinitis.”

* At least a couple of injured Nationals are slowly working their way back to full health.

Kyle Schwarber, on the IL with a right hamstring strain, has begun to take some standing swings off a tee in the cage and jogged. He’s still a ways away from returning from the problem, but Martinez seemed pleased with his progress.

“He’s itching to come back, this guy’s working unbelievably hard to get back as soon as he possibly can,” Martinez said. ” ... He’s pushing himself. Every day he wakes up, he’s sore. But he’s pushing himself to try to get back. Like I said, it’s hard to keep this guy down.”

While players are bailing from Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Denver left and right because of injury - some serious, some a little contrived - Schwarber won’t miss the opportunity to take in his first Midsummer Classic, even if he can’t participate.

“I told him, ‘It’s your first one, you need to go and you need to be amongst your peers. You’re the best of the first half and go and have some fun. Enjoy it. It’s a great experience, especially for your first time.’ ” Martinez said. “So focus on that and let’s worry about the other stuff after that.”

Catcher Alex Avila, sidelined with bilateral calf strains, has begun running, has hit in the cage and progressed to taking some batting practice, Martinez said.

* Right-hander Stephen Strasburg continues to recover from the neck strain that sent him to the injured list, throwing a 60-pitch bullpen session when the Nats were in San Diego earlier this week.

But the next major step in his recovery progression will be pitching in games, and Martinez said a minor league injury rehab assignment is in the cards for the pitcher after the All-Star break.

“Stras is going to have to go pitch,” Martinez said. “He’s just building arm strength right now. I know he’s been on the mound and throwing bullpens, but we got to be a little bit more cautious with Stras. ... When he comes back, we want him to come back strong and finish out the season with us (instead of) any more reoccurring injuries.”

* Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who will manage the National League All-Star team, told reporters in Los Angeles yesterday that he is strongly considering using Nationals ace Max Scherzer as the starter for the NL in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Scherzer, added to the NL team yesterday as a replacement for a pitcher who had opted out or was injured, has started three previous All-Star Games, two for the NL and one for the American League. He’s the fifth pitcher to start All-Star Games for both leagues.

Should that happen for a fourth time in Denver, that’s fine with Martinez.

“It would be awesome,” the manager said. “Like I said before, I always thought Max deserved to be on (the NL All-Star team). He’s on it now and for him to start the game would be incredible. ... He gives you everything he has every single day, not only when he’s out there every fifth day. He competes every day. That’s who he is. It’s awesome that, hopefully, he gets to start his fourth (All-Star Game).”

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