“Will Harris is going to see a doctor here soon,” Davey Martinez told reporters during his pregame Zoom call this afternoon.
Harris hasn’t appeared in a game since March 9th, so a reporter asked if everything was okay with the 36-year-old reliever, who signed a 3-year/$24M deal with the Washington Nationals in January of 2020.
“He’s got issues with a blood clot in his right arm, so he’s scheduled to go see a doctor. I don’t know the gist of what’s going to happen or what’s going to go on, so as soon as we know more I’ll definitely let you know,” Martinez explained.
“He felt weird his last outing, so we kind of backed off a little bit, he got an MRI and they found this little small blood clot, so he’s going to see a specialist.
Harris’s March 9th outing was his second this spring, after the Nationals’ manager decided to bring his veteran starters and relievers along slowly in Spring Training after an odd year in 2020’s 60-game COVID campaign.
Harris tossed two scoreless innings before they backed off, and now he’s headed to St. Louis to see Robert W. Thompson, a vascular surgeon who’s worked with other athletes.
“He’s been a guy that’s seen everybody with something like this,” the manager said of Dr. Thompson.
Martinez said that in spite of the diagnosis, Harris is in good spirits.
“He’s pretty upbeat considering what’s going on. So, hopefully we’ll know more sooner than later and then we can determine what’s going to happen.”
For now, Harris is just waiting for an appointment to be scheduled.
Martinez was asked for his initial reaction to the news of an issue that’s not what you’re used to dealing with when it comes to baseball players.
“For me, it’s hard,” he said.
“Medically, I don’t know what the extent of that it, but I know that it’s something that’s — it’s serious. We need to take care of it, and take care of it as soon as possible.
“I feel for Will,” he added, “because I know he was just working his tail off to help us this year, and here’s another guy who’s a workhorse. A guy that throws 70+ innings in a full season every year.
“I just hope that, when the doctor does see him we can take care of it and get him back as soon as we possibly can. Like I said, I don’t know the extent of what’s going to happen, so we’ll wait and see what happens.”
There are other things to consider, like how the back end of the bullpen will shake out until Harris is able to return, and though Martinez talked as if the club wouldn’t have the veteran reliever around for a while, he clarified that he is not sure right now what the next step will be for the reliever.
“I don’t know much about what’s going to happen here,” Martinez said, “but for me when somebody mentions something like that, it’s kind of a scary deal.
“Until we know more about it, then I’ve got to look and assume that he’s going to not start with us this season, and plus he’s missed some time.
“But like I said, until we get a clear understanding I can’t comment on it, as much as what I know now.”