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Washington Nationals calling up C.J. Abrams to play short in D.C.

With Luis García unavailable, the Nationals are calling up one of the five prospects they got from the Padres in the Soto/Bell trade...

MLB: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Davey Martinez told reporters. after yesterday’s 6-0 loss to the San Diego Padres, that Luis García had been unavailable after tweaking his groin earlier in the series with Juan Soto’s new club.

“He’s still — today he tried, he’s still sore, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

Garcia, 22, has been on a nice run, going 18 for 55 (.327/.345/.509) with two doubles, one triple, and two home runs in the last 15 games, but he hurt his groin running to first in the series opener this weekend, and didn’t play on Saturday.

“He got a little bit of a groin tightness,” Martinez said on Friday night.

“So we’re going to get him an MRI scheduled for the morning, see what’s going on.

“I thought it was his knee, but he said it was his groin, so I wanted to take him out and make sure that he’s okay.”

Martinez thought it was García’s knee because he’d tweaked his left knee previously.

“The other day it was his knee, yeah, yeah, yeah, so this is something new,” he explained.

“When you’re talking about the groin area, you don’t want to push it, especially when you’re playing the middle of the infield.”

Martinez said on Saturday morning García was day-to-day, and receiving treatment in the hope he would be available to pinch hit late if needed, but he didn’t appear in the second game.

The manager acknowledged they had, of course, considered their options, including calling up newly-acquired shortstop C.J. Abrams, if García was unavailable.

“There’s always going to be discussions on if something does happen, who are we going to bring up,” he said, and after Sunday’s game, he acknowledged if things didn’t improve they would likely have to make a move.

“No, like I said, if [García] comes back tomorrow feeling the way he does, I think we’re going to have to make a move. I can’t play short, without a middle infielder.”

Following the game, there were multiple reports the club was calling Abrams up after they started him off at Triple-A, following the trade which brought the 21-year-old, Padres’ 2019 1st Round pick (6th overall) to D.C. in the trade deadline deal for both Soto and Josh Bell.

GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies last week they wanted to get their new shortstop, “... some reps in our organization, so he can be comfortable he knows the Nationals’ way of playing the game and that type of thing,” while also saying he thought the infielder, who played 46 games in the majors for the Padres before he was included in the trade, was close to coming up.

On the night of the trade deadline, Rizzo described the infielder, who, “was San Diego’s No. 1 prospect and the No. 9 prospect in all of baseball entering the 2022 season, according to both Baseball America and,” and, “was cited by Baseball America as being the ‘best hitter’ and having the ‘best speed’ in all of Minor League baseball entering the 2022 season,” as, “... a tooled-up, twitchy type of live-body guy that can really run, really play shortstop, very acrobatic and light on his feet, and he’s got twitchy hands, and really a quick bat.

“We see him as a five-tool type of talent,” Rizzo added. “He can steal you a base, he stays at shortstop, he’s got a good arm, and a guy that can hit at the top of any order.”

Abrams put up a .232/.285/.320 line with five doubles and two home runs in 46 games and 139 plate appearances with the Padres after debuting in April, and put up a .290/.343/.355 line, going 9 for 31 with two doubles in eight games at Triple-A Rochester as of Sunday.

Rizzo talked about Abrams on the night he acquired him as part of the next-gen Nationals’ roster, saying, “... soon you’re going to see a 23-year-old [Keibert] Ruiz, and a 21-year-old Abrams, and a Luis García, and a Jo-Jo [Josiah] Gray, and a [MacKenzie] Gore, and a Cade Cavalli.

“That is going to be your core, that’s the beginning of the core with a bunch of people coming after that.”

García’s going to be unavailable for now. He was placed on the 10-Day IL today.

Martinez said recently the plan was to shift García back over to second base, where he played for the majority of his first two seasons in D.C.

For now, the first of the five prospects included in the Soto/Bell trade with the Padres is up in the majors.