WASHINGTON -- Nearly a week after he was placed on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, Matt Wieters underwent surgery to repair the injury, the Nationals announced on Thursday.The team did not provide a timetable on his return, but hamstring strains do not typically require surgery unless they
WASHINGTON -- Nearly a week after he was placed on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, Matt Wieters underwent surgery to repair the injury, the Nationals announced on Thursday.
The team did not provide a timetable on his return, but hamstring strains do not typically require surgery unless they are severe and the muscle was torn completely. The Nats say they will provide more information when Wieters returns to Washington and is evaluated by the club's medical staff.
Wieters pulled up gimpy rounding first base after a single last Thursday in Arizona. He immediately signaled to the dugout for a trainer and was taken out of the game, limping as he walked under his own power but he had to be helped down the steps. He was scheduled to have an MRI this week, however, the Nationals have not revealed the results of that test.
Wieters had been showing signs of improvement in his second season with the Nats after a dismal 2017. In 23 games this year, he posted a .342 on-base percentage and a .727 OPS with three home runs while throwing out nine of 18 would-be basestealers.
His absence leaves Washington without a ton of depth at catcher.
Pedro Severino, 24, should now get his chance to prove that he can be an everyday catcher. After losing the backup job out of Spring Training to veteran Miguel Montero, Severino made the most of an early-season callup to earn his spot on the big league roster, prompting the Nats to part ways with Montero, who started the season 0-for-11. Severino has already enjoyed his longest career stint in the Majors this year, compiling a slash line of .274/.386/.356 in 25 games and has been playing well this week in Wieters' absence.
However, with Montero gone and potential third-string catcher Raudy Read serving a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, the Nats promoted Spencer Kieboom from Triple-A Syracuse as their backup catcher on Friday.
That could put the Nationals in the market for a catcher, whether it be to add depth behind Severino or as a potential starter to step in if he struggles. Either way, it appears the Nats will be without Wieters for an extended period of time.
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.