Stras (hand), Castro (wrist) await test results

Prospects Crowe, Braymer, Read among 5 added to Nats' taxi squad

August 18th, 2020

The Nationals are awaiting test results on starters and .

Strasburg (carpal tunnel neuritis) underwent nerve testing on his right hand on Monday. He is slated to receive additional testing this week. The Nats' No. 2 starter has been battling tingling and nerve discomfort in his pitching hand all season, and he was placed on the 10-day injured list on Sunday.

“We’re going to go through all these different protocols with him,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “I know he did these tests today. He’s scheduled to see someone else in the next couple days.”

Castro sought a second opinion on his broken right wrist. Those tests results are pending, and Martinez plans to call Castro to discuss further. In his absence, Luis García -- the Nats' No. 2 prospect, per MLB Pipeline -- has been filling the void at second base since being called up Friday. He made his third career start there in Monday's 7-6 loss, and he hit his first big league home run, becoming the first player born in the 2000s to go deep in a Major League game.

Martinez had considered shifting third baseman Carter Kieboom to second, where he has experience and plays during certain shifts, but he decided against a mid-August move.

“I really like Luis at second base,” Martinez said. “I really do. I don’t want to make that change in the middle of the season. He’s comfortable over there. He’s worked with Trea [Turner], Trea’s talked to him. They work great together. For right now, we’ll keep him over at second base.”

First baseman/designated hitter Howie Kendrick remained out of the starting lineup because of tight hamstrings. He is available to pinch-hit.

New city, new taxi squad
Another road trip, another opportunity for a Nationals prospect to make his big league debut.

Washington added right-hander Wil Crowe (No. 5) and left-hander Ben Braymer (No. 24), both of whom have yet to pitch in the Majors, to its taxi squad for the road series in Atlanta. Catcher Raudy Read (No. 28), infielder Jake Noll and outfielder Andrew Stevenson rounded out the group of five.

“We wanted a couple guys that could give us length in the bullpen, if need be,” Martinez said. “Also, Jake Noll has been swinging the bat really, really well. So we thought we’d keep him around, just in case something happens.”

This season has been one of opportunity for Nationals Minor Leaguers. García, lefty Seth Romero (No. 11) and right-hander Dakota Bacus already have been called up from the alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Va.

On the road again
After playing in nearby New York and Baltimore, the Nationals made their first road trip by plane on Sunday, when they flew to Atlanta for a three-game series against the Braves.

“The plane was good,” Martinez said. “We were very spread out. Everybody wore their masks the whole time. Once again, we wiped everything down. [Kurt] Suzuki was wiping everybody’s seats down and trays.”

Being in a new city means a new set of health regulations. On this trip, the team was able to get together for a pre-series meeting.

“In New York, you couldn’t have more than 10 people in one room,” Martinez said. “Here, we’ve got a meeting room. This morning we had coffee, we were sitting down to meet and talk about the series. That was kind of nice that we were able to get out of our rooms and actually be together this morning. … Every city we go to is going to have their own protocols, and we’ve got to abide by them.”