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Washington Nationals news & notes: Davey Martinez on Juan Soto sitting again; Jackson Tetreault; rehabbing pitchers + more

Highlights from Davey Martinez’s media availability from Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday...

Tetreault’s Injury Surprises Manager:

Jackson Tetreault felt something as he warmed up for Saturday’s start, but went out there and struggled with his command in a relatively brief outing, then he knew something was wrong when he had trouble lifting his arm the next day.

“I think it’s probably something that’s been lingering for a little while now,” Tetreault said on Monday, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.

“I’m just looking forward to coming back strong and healthy,” he added, “... and believing I’ll be better when I’m fully healthy.”

He told manager Davey Martinez the same.

“I talked to him a little bit,” Martinez told reporters before the series opener in Philadelphia last night.

“And he said, ‘I’m going to work really hard to get healthy, and hopefully get back as soon as possible,’ but we were definitely surprised that that’s what it was.”

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Martinez said the first he heard of an issue was when Tetreault showed up at the park for the finale with the Miami Marlins on Sunday.

Finding out how bad an injury it was surprised him too.

“Absolutely,” the fifth-year skipper said. “We had no idea. He came out and he didn’t say anything about it. He came in the next day and said he was pretty sore, so we got him an MRI, and as you guys know he has a right scapular stress fracture, so for me that was a surprise, but he’s a tough kid.”

Martinez and Co. in the Nationals’ front office have to figure out who’s starting Thursday’s series finale with the Phillies now too.

“We’re still — as you know we’ve got some guys on rehab assignments right now, we’re going to weigh our options and come up with something hopefully by Wednesday.”

Rehabbing lefty Josh Rogers went out to Rochester to make a rehab start, and the skipper in D.C. was asked if he’d consider having him turn around and start in Citizens Bank instead.

It didn’t seem like that was his preference though.

“We’re going to discuss it,” Martinez said. “We sent him out to make that rehab start. We’re going to talk about it a little bit here later on. I would like him to go back and get another start, but we’ll see where we’re at.”

Juan Soto Sits Again:

Juan Soto played in 80 of the Nationals’ first 82 games this season, but he tweaked his left calf in Sunday’s game in D.C., then sat out the series finale with Miami on Monday, and he wasn’t in the starting lineup for the series opener in Philadelphia last night either.

“After talking to him last night, he felt better, but it’s still sore. So I didn’t want to chance it,” Davey Martinez said before taking on the Phillies. “We’ll let him try to get better. We’ll see where he’s at. I know he’s going to take some swings here later on, and we’ll see what’s going on and see where he’s at. But I just wanted to give him another day, and hopefully tomorrow he can get back and we’ll do some running drills with him and see how he feels.”

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies - Game One Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Soto, as the Nationals highlighted in last night’s Game Notes, had put together a nice run in the last few weeks before the injury.

“Soto has hit safely in eight of his last 10 games games,” they noted, “going 9-for-26 (.346) with four doubles, one homer, two RBI, 11 walks and eight runs scored during the streak,” and with a walk in a pinch hit appearance late in Monday’s game, he’d, “reached base safely in 15 straight games, posting a .456 on-base percentage (11 H, 16 BB) along the way,” so, yeah, whenever he’s ready to go on and get back in there, but no rush. No rush. Oh, also, “He also leads Major League Baseball with 68 walks.”

Doolittle And Harris Throw In Philly:

Sean Doolittle went on the IL with a left elbow sprain back in April, and went on the 60-Day after receiving a PRP injection in May, and he was spotted throwing in the bullpen in Philly on Tuesday, so the Nationals’ manager was asked for the latest on the rehabbing southpaw, and Will Harris (thoracic outlet surgery), who threw in Citizens Bank Park as well.

“Doolittle is coming along,” Davey Martinez said. “He’s just kind of doing touchy-feely on the mound, kind of throwing off that downward slope, and Will actually threw the ball well, he threw 25 pitches, so he’ll throw another bullpen in a couple days, and then we’ll see where he’s at from there. He’s working on some things mechanically, but he said he feels good, his arm feels good, so that’s good news. I think he’s scheduled to throw a couple more and then if he feels good we’re going to talk to him about maybe going and facing some live hitters and go from there.”

Harris, who was fairly durable over the years before signing a 3-year/$24M deal in D.C. in 2020, has made just 28 appearances in the last three years (none this season, obviously), but he’s making slow progress after setbacks along the way, and getting closer to finding out if he’s going to be able to return from the unpredictable procedure (as his manager’s about to describe it).

“No one expected it to be this long,” Martinez said, “but as I always said with this thoracic outlet surgery, you never know, you really don’t, but he’s working hard, he’s working trying to get back. He’s done everything we asked him to do as far as physically-wise, now it’s just getting him to that next stage where he can actually go out there and try to compete and face some hitters, and build up to that and see where he’s at from there.”

“But as I’ve said before,” he added, “with that kind of surgery, it’s tough to say where they’re at, how they’re going to be, they might feel good, they might come back and then as you all know, something could happen.”