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Wieters to set off on rehab assignment

Catcher on disabled list with mild left oblique strain
MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- Nationals catcher Matt Wieters went through a full pregame workout prior to Monday's game against the Braves, taking batting practice and getting work in behind the plate as he nears a return from a mild left oblique strain.

Wieters, who is eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Wednesday, will begin a Minor League rehab stint with Class A Advanced Potomac on Tuesday, one manager Dave Martinez believes will be brief considering Wieters has not missed much playing time. Wieters could catch one game and play in another as the designated hitter before he is ready to return.

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WASHINGTON -- Nationals catcher Matt Wieters went through a full pregame workout prior to Monday's game against the Braves, taking batting practice and getting work in behind the plate as he nears a return from a mild left oblique strain.

Wieters, who is eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Wednesday, will begin a Minor League rehab stint with Class A Advanced Potomac on Tuesday, one manager Dave Martinez believes will be brief considering Wieters has not missed much playing time. Wieters could catch one game and play in another as the designated hitter before he is ready to return.

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"I don't think he needs that many [games]," Martinez said. "He hit yesterday, he hit today, looked really good. We just want to make sure that he goes down there and catches and gets at-bats."

Wieters only appeared in two games this season before tightness in his left side forced him to the DL. The Nationals have maintained that the move was precautionary, so they decided to sit him now to avoid a longer DL stint in the future. And after Wieters spent the spring working on adjustments to his swing, the oblique injury was preventing him from implementing those changes.

The Nationals will also have a decision to make at catcher when they return to full strength. Miguel Montero is due back from paternity leave Tuesday, but he is off to a slow start, going hitless in his first 11 at-bats this season. In their absences, Pedro Severino has played well in five games, going 5-for-12 with three walks and three RBIs.

When the Nationals sent Severino to the Minors during Spring Training, they said it was because they wanted him to play every day instead of serving as a reserve in the Majors. But perhaps he is changing their plans. Martinez hinted Monday at the possibility of carrying three catchers on the roster when the team is at full strength.

"I like Pedro, I've always liked Pedro," Martinez said. "When we sent him down, it wasn't a demotion, it was getting him ready to play and having him play every day.

"But he's done great. I talked to him today in the office and told him how good he's doing, just keep it up. He's learning the pitchers, he's calling a good game, he's doing everything right, so I love what I see out of him."

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Matt Wieters