With five key players on the injured list, the Nationals are tracking their progress as each works toward their return -- and in two cases, their 2021 season debuts.
Due to health and safety protocols, no players on the IL traveled with the Nats on their current road trip against the Mets and Blue Jays.
Starting position players
RF Juan Soto: Left shoulder strain, 10-day IL (April 20)
Update: Soto took batting practice on Tuesday and told the team he did not feel discomfort afterward. He has not been cleared to throw because he is still “a little tender.”
What’s next: “As soon as we can get him throwing, we’ll probably have to plop him in a game or two down in Fredericksburg, [Va., at the alternate training site] to make sure he’s OK,” manager Dave Martinez said.
RHP Stephen Strasburg: Right shoulder inflammation, 10-day IL (April 18, retroactive to April 15)
Update: Strasburg threw from 150 feet and, according to Martinez, “everything went well."
What’s next: “We’re hoping that he continues to build strength, and we can get him on the mound here real soon,” Martinez said.
LHP Jon Lester: COVID-19 protocols IL (April 6)
Update: Lester threw 90 pitches over six innings on Sunday.
What’s next: Following a day off on Monday, Lester was scheduled to throw a light bullpen on Tuesday. After that, Martinez plans to connect with Lester, general manager Mike Rizzo and pitching coach Jim Hickey to establish a plan for his next throwing session, including whether it will be in Washington or Fredericksburg.
RHP Will Harris: Right hand inflammation, 10-day IL (April 1, retroactive to March 29)
Update: Harris pitched in a simulated game on Sunday.
What’s next: The Nationals plan to continue getting Harris, who has not pitched in a game since mid-March, reps out of the bullpen. “He felt fine, he felt OK,” Martinez said. “We’ll just keep building him up.”
RHP Wander Suero: Left oblique strain, 10-day IL (April 18)
Update: Suero began his throwing program on Monday, and threw lightly on Tuesday.
What’s next: Suero is slated to throw again on Wednesday. The Nats are hopeful he could pitch off the mound later this week.