WASHINGTON, D.C.: After a simulated game in Nationals Park and one rehab game with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, in which he was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, Matt Adams was reinstated from a 16-game stint on the Disabled List after he’d suffered a fractured left index finger trying to bunt during a June 15th game in Toronto.
Before the injury, Adams, 31, put up a .275/351/.575 line with seven doubles and 13 homers in 57 games (38 starts) and 171 plate appearances in his first season with the Nationals after signing a 1-year/$4M free agent deal with Washington in December of 2017.
“He’s not playing today,” an excited manager Davey Martinez told reporters after the roster moves was announced, “... but he’s a good guy to have on the bench, especially against [the Red Sox] who have all right-handed relievers, so we’ll get him in today, and he’s ready to go.”
“From everything that was being told to me I think it’s a little sooner than expected,” Adams said when he spoke before today’s game, “so that’s a good thing. But the vibrations of the balls on the bat and catching the balls, it’s not feeling as bad, so that’s a good sign and just continue taking it day by day.”
He didn’t need much work to get up to speed, apparently, but Adams said he got enough.
“We had that simulated game the other day here and got six or seven at bats and three last night,” he explained.
“So the timing really didn’t go anywhere. I think just seeing live pitching again and getting that adrenaline back was a big deal.”
With Adams back to share duties with Mark Reynolds, does that mean Daniel Murphy will be back at second base more regularly?
“Against right-handed pitchers, [Murphy] plays second, [Adams] is going to play first,” the manager explained, “... but we’ll go from there. Like I said, he’s going to need his days off, Murph needed a day off today, obviously the quick turnaround, but he’ll need his days off moving forward, but getting Matty back helps us out a lot.”
In order to make room on the roster for Adams’ return, the Nationals designated left-handed reliever Tim Collins for assignment, leaving the Nationals with two left-handers in their pen, Matt Grace, and closer Sean Doolittle (after Sammy Solis was optioned recently).
“Very tough,” Martinez said of the decision to DFA the veteran lefty. “Collins did well for us, it’s just a numbers game at this point.”
“Losing Timmy — hoping to get him back, we talked about it, but he’s been really good for us.”
Collins posted a 2.77 ERA, a 5.26 FIP, six walks, and eight Ks in 17 appearances and 13 IP.