Voth shut down with right shoulder tendinitis

Hellickson playing catch; Ross likely to make spot start vs. Dodgers

July 26th, 2019

WASHINGTON -- Nats starter Austin Voth has been shut down from throwing at the moment after an MRI revealed tendinitis in his right shoulder, manager Dave Martinez revealed prior to Thursday’s series finale against the Rockies.

Voth had been battling some tightness in his biceps for the past few weeks, but kept pitching through it before the discomfort became too much to handle during a bullpen session in Atlanta this past weekend. He attempted to play catch Monday at Nats Park, but it was still bothering him, which led to the MRI.

“Yesterday he said he felt better, but we’re going to make sure we’re very careful with him,” Martinez said.

Voth had been solid enough to all but secure the final spot in the Nationals rotation over the past few weeks, posting a 4.35 ERA in four starts with 20 strikeouts and six walks. Martinez did not offer up a timeline for Voth’s return, but it is likely that fifth starter spot will continue to be a revolving door. With Max Scherzer’s return from the injured list Thursday, the Nats have limited options remaining to fill their rotation vacancy.

Jeremy Hellickson began the season as the No. 5 starter, but he has not pitched since May 19 due to a right shoulder strain. He has been playing catch and feeling better, but is not expected to throw off a mound for at least the next 10-12 days, per Martinez.

Joe Ross seems almost certain to make a spot start for Saturday’s game against the Dodgers, even though Martinez did not commit to it Thursday. Ross remains on the active roster after tossing 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball against the Braves on Sunday and would be able to make the start on regular rest.

After Saturday, the Nationals could go without a fifth starter until Aug. 6 against the Giants, and by then right-hander Erick Fedde will be eligible to return from the Minors after he was optioned to Double-A Harrisburg following the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

Krieger throws out ceremonial first pitch

Ali Krieger and her fiancé Ashlyn Harris, fresh off winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, were at Nationals Park on Thursday to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Nationals’ series finale against Colorado.

Krieger grew up in Northern Virginia as a huge D.C. sports fan and admitted she was “fan-girling” out to be at Nationals Park on Thursday. Although she grew up an Orioles fan originally -- and even had an aunt who dated Cal Ripken Jr. -- she became a Nationals fan once the team moved to D.C.

Krieger and Harris got a chance to chat with Martinez and walkthrough the Nats clubhouse before the game as they continue to use their platform to advocate for equal pay and keeping the momentum going from the World Cup.

“I'm just thrilled to be here,” Krieger said. “I know the Nationals have supported me individually and the team throughout the tournament and throughout my career here, also playing for the Washington spirit a few years ago. It’s just nice to be back and feel at home.”

Worth noting

To make room for Scherzer on the roster, the Nats optioned catcher Raudy Read to Triple-A Fresno.