Davey Martinez was clear after last night’s game that there would have to be a bullpen move for the Washington Nationals today, after Sam Freeman left the mound abruptly with what was initially diagnosed as flexor strain in his left arm.
“He said he felt a pop in his elbow,” Martinez said, “... so when he says that then he’s coming out of the game. It’s unfortunate. Super guy. Works his tail off. Hopefully it’s just a strain.”
Freeman, 33, has tossed five scoreless innings for the Nationals early this season, and with Sean Doolittle struggling out of the bullpen, the left-hander was an important part of their relief corps.
Before last night’s game, Martinez told reporters that veteran reliever Will Harris, who was on the Injured List with a groin strain, was ready to return.
“He’s doing good,” the manager said.
“He feels good today. We’re going to give him another day today and hopefully he feels good tomorrow, and we’ll activate him tomorrow.”
“He had a heavy workload yesterday,” Martinez explained, “... so instead of activating him today and kind of pitching him — I’d say back-to-back because he did throw yesterday to live hitters, just give him a day and get him ready for tomorrow so we have him.”
Harris, who signed a 3-year/$24M free agent deal this winter, gave up three hits and three runs, one earned in 1 1⁄3 IP before the injury.
This morning the Nats made both moves official, reinstating Harris and placing Freeman on the 10-Day IL with a left flexor mass strain.
NOTE - LEFTIES:
With Freeman injured, and Doolittle struggling, Martinez said last night that prospect Seth Romero, who was included on the taxi squad for the current road trip, is a possibility if the club decides they need another left-hander.
“We’ll have to sit down. I’m going to talk to [GM] Mike [Rizzo] probably after we’re done here, and talk and see what the game plan is moving forward,” Martinez said.
“Obviously we’ve got to keep getting Doolittle right and then we’ll see what happens. I like the way Seth has been throwing the baseball, he threw the other day and he threw really well.
“Maybe he does get an opportunity, but that’s something that I’m going to sit with Mike Rizzo about, and see what we come up with.”
Bringing Harris back with Freeman going to the IL was the obvious move today, but will the club need another lefty? Will Romero get a chance?