A few hours after the Washington Nationals announced veteran reliever Sean Doolittle was going on the 10-Day IL with a left elbow sprain, Nats’ first baseman Josh Bell left the lineup in Wednesday night’s game, between the end of the third and start of the fourth innings as his left knee acted up on him.
Bell doubled the first time up at the plate last night, though he was thrown out at home as he tried to score from third on a grounder to third base, but he returned to the field in the third, only to leave the game before the Nationals came back out for the top of the fourth.
After what ended up an 11-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez told reporters the left knee was the issue for Bell.
“He had a left knee was bothering him,” Martinez said. “He’s going to get an MRI tomorrow.
“That’s all we know. He’s got a little swelling in there, but we’ll know more tomorrow after the MRI.”
According to what Martinez said he heard from Bell, there wasn’t any particular play or any one moment when the infielder tweaked the knee. So what did happen?
“He actually said he doesn’t know,” Martinez explained. “He just said he was at first base and it started tightening up on him, so we’ll get an MRI tomorrow and see what’s going on.”
Considering what they’ve dealt with in terms of injuries early this season, with Joe Ross, Will Harris, Mason Thompson, Doolittle, and Aníbal Sánchez already injured, Martinez said it has been difficult.
“Coming in real hot,” he said of all the injuries. “So, hopefully [Bell is] okay, and we’ll see tomorrow.”
Bell told reporters he came out of the game out an abundance of caution.
“It wasn’t like limping off the field, or anything like that,” Bell said after the Nationals’ loss to the D-backs, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
“It just felt like something precautionary. If I can take care of this now, then good things will happen. We will see what happens tomorrow, and we will go from there.”
“Right now, I don’t feel too terrible,” Bell added. “So hopefully it’s not anything very serious.”
Bell got off to a slow start in his first year with the team in 2021, after he returned from the COVID-IL, but put together an impressive season in the end, and this year, the 29-year-old got off to a strong start, with a 12-game on-base streak, which was snapped in Game 13 of the season on Tuesday.
Before that, Bell was 16 for 44 (.364/.472/.523) with a double, two homers, eight walks, and four Ks in 54 PAs over the first 12 games this season.