Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez expressed concern after Jeremy Hellickson struggled with his command in his last start, walking three and giving up four hits and three runs in just three innings on the mound in what ended up a 6-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
“He’s a guy that throws strikes and when he falls behind and falls behind that’s an indication to me that he’s not right,” Martinez said.
“I’ve seen him pitch a lot,” the manager added, “... and when he’s ball one, ball two, walking guys, ball one, ball two, I don’t see him like that very often.”
Hellickson pointed to mechanical issues after the outing, but this afternoon, the Nationals placed the veteran right-hander on the 10-Day Injured List (retroactive to May 20th) with a strained right shoulder.
Through nine games (eight of them starts) and 39 IP this season, Hellickson is (2-3) with a 6.23 ERA, a 6.17 FIP, 20 walks (4.62 BB/9), 30 Ks (6.92 K/9), and a .291/.376/.517 line against in his starts.
Oddly, considering the diagnosis of a shoulder strain, Hellickson was back at work long-tossing in Citi Field this afternoon...
Update: Now Hellickson is long-tossing.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) May 21, 2019
Hellickson keeps backing up here to turn this into a long-toss session, not just casual catch. He was placed on the 10-day IL today because of a “shoulder strain”.— Todd Dybas (@Todd_Dybas) May 21, 2019
With Hellickson on the 10-Day IL, the Nationals had an open roster spot which they used to add reliever Javy Guerra to the roster this afternoon, a day after the team announced it had claimed the right-hander off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Guerra, 33, had a 3.86 ERA, a 3.17 FIP, five walks, and 15 Ks in 11 games and 14 innings before he was designated for assignment by Toronto over the weekend.
So, who takes Hellickson’s next turn in the rotation? Does Kyle McGowin get a start? Aníbal Sánchez is already on the Injured List.
Will the replacements for the two starts actually be an improvement over what the veteran starters have provided?