The Washington Nationals have possibly lost backup outfielder Brian Goodwin for the season due to a setback in his rehab from a groin injury, according to multiple reports.
Washington called up top prospect Victor Robles — in addition to Rafael Bautista and Andrew Stevenson — to add outfield depth with Goodwin now out for an extended time and Jayson Werth day-to-day with a shoulder injury.
Goodwin, 26, impressed in his rookie season at the major league level, hitting .251/.313/.498 with an .811 OPS, 13 home runs, 21 doubles, one triple, 30 RBIs, 41 runs scored and six stolen bases in 74 games (251 at-bats).
Brian Goodwin suffered a setback on his groin injury, possibly done for the rest of the season. That led to Robles callup— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) September 7, 2017
With Adam Eaton out for the year since April and regulars Werth and Michael Taylor each spending time on the disabled list, Goodwin was given the chance to play on a daily basis.
The team’s outfield depth was stretched thin at several points throughout the season, but Goodwin was able to provide stability both in the field at center and left as well as at the top of the lineup — where he primarily hit leadoff and in the No. 2 spot.
In light of Goodwin’s injury, the team will have a tough decision to make when determining who will take the team’s final postseason roster spot off the bench.
If Bryce Harper’s healthy, the Nats will likely see Howie Kendrick, Wilmer Difo, Adam Lind and Jose Lobaton staying with the team for the NLDS.
That leaves Robles, Bautista, Stevenson and Alejandro De Aza as possible candidate for that other backup outfield role — unless the team decides to carry a third catcher.
Dusty saying he's heard Robles (understandably, given age) is prone to mistakes & might not be fair to him to throw him into playoff action— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) September 7, 2017
Robles is probably a longshot to make the roster, and Bautista hasn’t had much action at the major league level (.558 OPS in 13 plate appearances).
With De Aza struggling to a .158 batting average and Stevenson owning just a .167 mark himself, however, the field appears to be wide open at this point.
Mike Rizzo, Dusty Baker and Co. still have a little over three weeks to make those decisions, but time’s running out for players to make lasting impressions.