Koda Glover has two scoreless innings under his belt with the Gulf Coast Nationals and he’s set to pitch for the Potomac Nationals tonight as he continues to work his way back from a recurrence of the shoulder issue that has plagued him in the last year-plus. It’s been a near-constant battle for the now-25-year-old right-hander, whose first major league season came to an end when he suffered a torn labrum in his hip after debuting a year after the Nationals drafted him out of Oklahoma State University in the 8th Round of the 2015 Draft.
Glover debuted in Washington’s bullpen in July, 2016 after a meteoric rise through the Nats’ minor league system, though in hindsight, Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo told reporters this past winter, it might have been too much too soon.
“We pushed him pretty fast,” Rizzo acknowledged.
“You talk about college to the big leagues in just a little over a year, and his stuff kind of dictated that he was moved at that pace. And I always think that relievers develop faster than any other position, and I think as much as his developmental curve affected him, I think his makeup affected him, because he tried to push through things, he tried to battle through things, he wanted to be in the big leagues and wanted to pitch through some pain, and I think that ended up biting him at the end.
“That’s part of youthful baseball players. They have the John Wayne syndrome. They want to battle through things and they want to fight through things, and they don’t want to be in the training room because they think that says something about their makeup, and he’s learning. He’ll figure it out, and I think he’s going to be a real big long-term piece for us.”
Early this Spring, however, after rehabbing his shoulder this winter, Glover dealt with some inflammation again and the Nationals put the brakes on the hard-throwing righty.
They’ve take things slowly, with his injury history in mind, Davey Martinez told reporters on Friday, because they want to get it right this time and make sure Glover is 100% before he returns, which is why they kept the reliever down in West Palm Beach, FL for as long as they did as he rehabbed from the latest injury.
“The whole premise and the basis of him staying in Florida was to kind of really get him honed down, ready, so when he does come up here he’s up here and there’s no more injuries, because he’s had that problem, so we want to make sure he’s good and ready to go.”
As for how long that process will take at this point?
“For me,” Martinez said, “it’s based on — he’s going through Spring Training, so we’ve got guys in Spring Training that get eight or nine appearances.
“So that’s basically what we’re looking at.”