The injury bug just bit the Washington Nationals again, this time taking out one of their starters.
In five starts in May, veteran righty Jeremy Hellickson gave up four earned runs in 27 2⁄3 IP, for a 1.30 ERA, with two walks, 25 Ks, and a .200/.232/.316 line against.
Hellickson wrapped his solid month on the mound up with a five-inning outing against the Orioles last week in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, giving up six hits and two earned runs in what ended up a 3-2 win for the Washington Nationals.
Just two batters into this afternoon’s series finale with the Atlanta Braves in SunTrust Park, however, Hellickson suffered what appeared to be a hamstring injury reaching for a high toss to the bag from Mark Reynolds as he covered first base on a grounder to the right side of the infield.
Hellickson grabbed at the back of his right leg after missing the toss, which bounced off his glove and went into foul territory, allowing the runner to take second.
After a brief visit from his Nats’ skipper Dave Martinez and the Nationals’ trainer, Hellickson was lifted from the game.
Per Nationals’ team policy, which they don’t stray from often, the Nationals didn’t offer any info or update during their games, but Martinez had information when he spoke in his post game press conference after what ended up a 4-2 loss.
Martinez confirmed that it was in fact an issue with Hellickson’s right hamstring.
“He’s going to get an MRI tomorrow, but we don’t really know, we’re treating it as a strain, so, but we don’t know,” the manager said.
“Just kind of grabbed on me,” Hellickson told reporters.
“I think when I came down on the bag, it just kind of — I felt like a little cramp.
“Tried to stretch it out a little bit, felt a little better, and then started to walk again and it kept grabbing on me, so get it looked at tomorrow and go from there.”
Martinez was asked if it was the sort of injury that would lead to a DL stint.
“We don’t know yet,” he said. “I know he’s got an MRI scheduled, so we’ll know more after that.”
Jefry Rodriguez, who was called up from Double-A today when reliever Tim Collins went on the Paternity List, took over for Hellickson against the Braves and did an admirable job in his MLB debut.
Will the Nationals give him another shot after that performance, or reach down to Triple-A for Erick Fedde or Austin Voth should Hellickson not be able to take his turn in the rotation next time around?