"There's a couple guys that have stood out," Davey Johnson told MLB Network Radio hosts Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette this Spring when asked about some of the young Washington Nationals he was getting a good look at early in Grapefruit League action. "I didn't get to see Matt Skole last year," Johnson said, "He's a big [guy] from Georgia Tech. Big swinging left-hander. Has got good hands at third base. He can play third and first. Showed me good command of the strike zone and he's got some pop and I like his approach, I like everything about him, make-up all the way down the line."
A .291/.426/.559, 28 double, 27 HR campaign at Class-A Hagerstown and High-A Potomac last season for the 2011 5th Round pick earned Skole the Nats' Minor League Player of the Year award. The 6'4'', 220 lb, 23-year-old slugger was assigned to Double-A Harrisburg to start his third minor league season.
In discussing the first basemen in the system that gave the Nationals the confidence to deal Michael Morse this winter, Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo said he thought Skole, who was drafted as a third baseman, probably, "... profiles as a left-handed power bat at first base." The team moved him to first at Double-A, with top prospect Anthony Rendon at third with the Senators. Unfortunately, it was a play at his new position that has resulted in Skole being placed on the DL this afternoon.
"Skole left with what appears to be a left elbow injury after a collision with Bowie's Ty Kelly at first base in the eighth inning," Patriot-News' reporter Geoff Morrow wrote on Saturday night, "He left in obvious pain and will receive further evaluation late Friday night or early Saturday."
The Senators announced the results of the further evaluations this morning:
Official: 1B Matt Skole has been placed on the disabled list and OF Jerad Head has been assigned to Harrisburg.— Harrisburg Senators (@HbgSenators) April 8, 2013
Washington Post reporter Adam Kilgore quoted "an official familiar with the injury" who said the diagnosis was a "a microfracture in his left wrist" that could keep Skole on the DL for up to three or four weeks. The injury occurred during a collision at first base with MASNSports.com's Byron Kerr writing that, "[Skole's] arm was hit by a runner on a play up the baseline."