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Washington Nationals news & notes: Davey Martinez on Joe Ross getting bad news; Sean Doolittle reaching 10 years + more...

Highlights from Davey Martinez’s media availability on Thursday...

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Kyle Brostowitz, the Nationals’ Director of Communications, sent the following tweet out on Thursday afternoon, celebrating Sean Doolittle reaching 10 years of service time in the big leagues:

Considering, as the MLBPA notes, “... [f]ewer than 10% in baseball history have played for a decade or more,” it’s really a notable achievement, and one Doolittle, a 2007 1st Round pick by the Oakland A’s, who’s now pitched for the Nationals, Reds, and Mariners as well, worked hard to earn.

“It’s great when you hit that 10-year mark,” manager Davey Martinez (a 16-year veteran in the majors) said before the series opener with Colorado last night in D.C. “It’s a lot of work. As a player you always think back, man, everything you’ve gone through in your career and to get to that point, it’s gratifying, it’s rewarding, he’s part of a unique club of players, but I’m happy for him, you know, I’m sure he can sit back now when everything is all said and done and have many stories for you guys ... as he normally does anyway.”

Acquired by the Nationals in 2017, Doolittle was in Martinez’s bullpen in D.C. from ‘17-20, and he returned this season after pitching in Cincinnati and Seattle in 2021, but he was injured a few weeks into the 2022 campaign, and is currently on the 60-Day IL, after being diagnosed with a sprained left elbow and receiving a PRP injection.

“I’m very happy [for him] and I’m very proud to be associated with him over his career, it’s been awesome to have him,” Martinez said.

Players who reach 10 years of service time earn their full pension, which provides some real significant benefits in retirement.

García Back In At Rochester:

Luis García left Tuesday night’s game with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings after colliding with the opposing first baseman as he was running to first base.

Talking before Wednesday’s series finale with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Davey Martinez did not yet have an update.

“He had something going on with his wrist, I haven’t heard what the outcome was, but we know that it was his wrist.”

Before the first of four with the Colorado Rockies in D.C., however, he had more information on the recently-turned 22-year-old infielder who’s been tearing it up at the plate this season with a .331/.387/.576 line, five doubles, four triples, and eight home runs in 37 games and 168 plate appearances heading into Thursday’s game, as he waits for a call back up to the majors ... any ... day ... now.

Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

“He hyperextended his arm,” Martinez said, “... but he said he’s fine, so just give him a few days off.

“After tonight’s game I’ll see what’s going on. I know he missed a game, but I’ll see what’s going on after today’s game.

“But they said he collided with the first baseman and fell awkwardly, but they think that he’s okay.”

García was back in the Red Wings’ lineup for last night’s game. When will he be back in the Nationals’ lineup?

Joe Ross Update Not Good:

Joe Ross went for an MRI on his right elbow after tightness in there ended his first rehab start just three innings in earlier this week.

Ross, of course, underwent Tommy John surgery back in 2017, and suffered a partial tear of the UCL last season, but avoided a second TJS at the time, though he did end up having to have surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow this spring. He put in a lot of hard work, felt good the first two innings pitching at Double-A Harrisburg then felt something.

Ross told reporters on Thursday the latest MRI showed, “a little bit more of a sprain than I had in my previous MRIs,” as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman:

“I’m definitely frustrated,” Ross said. “Just a combination of missing the last five or so weeks last year, then doing all the rehab and going through all that from day one of the offseason, staying down in Florida and watching how this season is going so far, obviously I’d like to provide some assistance by coming back. … So it’s definitely frustrating to go through all that and not be able to assist in the way I would’ve liked, or at least how I was planning to.”

Washington Nationals Photo Day Photo by Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images

“Yeah, it’s very difficult,” Martinez said on Thursday afternoon. “I often, as you know, I care about these guys so much, but to know what he went through once, and having him this close to coming back and being ready and something happened again, it’s frustrating, it’s tough. So he’s got a lot on his plate, he really does. And as soon as we can get him to understand what needs to transpire, the next thing is to just be there for him as much as we possibly can, but he’s got a long road ahead of him, he understands that, and we told him, ‘This will not be the first time, and there’s always a comeback, but you’ve got to work hard to get yourself back.’”

For now, Ross and the Nationals want to do their due diligence before deciding on the next step, which seems likely to be another surgery.

“We just want to make sure — we’re just checking all the boxes with him. The results he got from the MRI obviously was not good,” Martinez said, “and we just want to reiterate — ease his mind a little bit about what’s going to happen and what’s going to transpire, and he wants another opinion, which at this point is good. As soon as we get some other opinions from the doctors he wants to go see then we’ll make a decision on what’s going to happen.”