UPDATE 4:15 PM: Washington officially placed Matt Wieters on the 10-Day DL with a mild left oblique strain and the Nationals officially called Pedro Severino up from Triple-A Syracuse. Severino is in the lineup tonight for the series opener in Atlanta.
#Nats: The #Nationals have recalled catcher Pedro Severino from Triple-A Syracuse and placed catcher Matt Wieters on the 10-day DL with a mild left oblique strain.— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) April 2, 2018
INITIAL REPORT: Though the Washington Nationals opted to keep Matt Wieters and Miguel Montero as their catchers on the Opening Day roster, manager Davey Martinez told reporters that prospect Pedro Severino was still considered the backstop of the future in the nation’s capital even though he wouldn’t start the season in the majors.
“[Severino] is a future catcher,” Martinez said, as quoted by Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes, after the 24-year-old catcher was optioned to Triple-A to start the season.
”If one of those guys goes down, he’s going to play,” the first-time manager added.
“[Montero] handles the staff well, the pitchers really well. And he’s always been a good, clutch hitter, and I like that. For me, it’s more about Severino and making sure … we do the right thing for him. We really value the fact he is going to be an everyday catcher for us one day.”
Severino wasn’t in Triple-A for long.
According to a report by the WaPost’s Janes on Twitter, the Nationals’ prospect joined the team in Atlanta, where they start a three-game series at 7:35 tonight, with Wieters dealing with an undisclosed injury:
Catcher Pedro Severino is meeting the Nationals in Atlanta today, according to people familiar with the situation. Hearing Matt Wieters dealing with injury, though extent of it unknown, and Nats will decide his DL status today.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) April 2, 2018
Wieters, 31, went 1 for 7 in two games this past weekend in Cincinnati, after talking in Spring Training about how happy he was to be healthy this year after dealing with injury issues the last few winters.
“The good thing about the offseason workout is I was able to do everything,” Wieters said, as quoted by WTOP’s Jonathan Warner. “I wasn’t rehabbing any one part, so I was able to give complete attention to my total body. The last three offseasons, it’s been a focal point, whether it’s been the elbow or the wrist. It’s always been something I’ve been focused on.”
Unfortunately, Wieters is apparently already dealing with an issue early in his second season in D.C. after he opted to return to the Nationals, exercising a player option for $10.5M that was included in the free agent deal he signed with Washington late in the Spring of 2017.
In the write-up on what she knows, the WaPost’s Janes noted that, “The Nationals also did not officially recall Severino; he is merely joining the team in Atlanta in case he is needed,” while they determine the severity of Wieters’ issue.