Injuries & Moves: García Jr. dealing with shoulder soreness

July 14th, 2024

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July 14: 2B Luis García Jr. scratched due to left shoulder soreness
Originally in the lineup at second base, García Jr. sat out Sunday afternoon’s game due to a sore left shoulder.

“He said his shoulder was bothering him a little bit,” manager Dave Martinez said. “We just wanted to take him out and not push him, and this way he gets four or five days off before he gets back out there. We’ll see what’s going on with that.”

July 14: RHP recalled from Triple-A Rochester
Willingham, 25, joins the Nationals after allowing zero earned runs and just two hits with eight strikeouts and four walks across his past five appearances (six innings) with Rochester. Willingham is 2-3 with a 4.54 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 32 relief outings (39 2/3 innings) for the Red Wings in 2024, having tossed more than one inning in 14 of his 32 appearances.

A 17th-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, Willingham made his Major League debut in 2023, appearing in 18 games across four Major League stints. Willingham takes the spot on the roster of Hunter Harvey, who was traded to the Royals following Saturday’s game.

July 13: Nationals acquire 3B , No. 39 pick in 2024 MLB Draft from Royals for RHP
Shortly after their 6-5 comeback win over the Brewers, the Nationals announced the trade of Harvey. In exchange, they acquired Wallace and the No. 39 overall pick in the 2024 MLB Draft, which lands in Competitive Balance Round A.

Wallace, 22, was ranked the Royals’ No. 2 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He has a .282/.350/.427 slash line in 34 games with Double-A Northwest Arkansas this season. He landed on the 7-day injured list due to a right oblique strain on May 22 and began a rehab assignment in the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League on June 27.

Harvey was a setup man to Nationals closer Kyle Finnegan. His 43 appearances ranked third among Washington pitchers this season, and he has posted a 4.20 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 45 innings.

July 13: RHP recalled from Triple-A Rochester; RHP optioned to Rochester
Salazar, 26, has made 20 appearances (seven starts) in Triple-A this season between the Dodgers, Mariners and Nationals organizations. He has a 4.53 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP in 47 2/3 innings. He has made one appearance in the Majors this season, on May 15 with Los Angeles.

Washington claimed Salazar off waivers from Seattle on June 13. Salazar posted a 0.84 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in 10 2/3 innings over nine relief appearances with Rochester.

“Very impressive,” manager Dave Martinez said. “He can give us multiple innings as well, which is great. He’s got a really good two-seamer and a really good slider. I really want to give him a chance, especially in the next couple of days, see what he can do and get him in there.”

The Nationals recalled Rutledge for a spot start on Friday, when he allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings against the Brewers in his first start since Oct. 1.

10-day/15-day injured list

1B (left hamstring strain)
Expected return:
Second half of season
Gallo is currently with the team and is participating in light workouts, but he still can’t run at 100 percent. An MRI on June 14 revealed a “significant” left hamstring strain, per manager Dave Martinez. Gallo sustained the injury while running out a ground ball on June 11. There is no timeframe for his return. (Last updated: July 9)

RHP (right flexor muscle strain)
Expected return: Second half of season
Williams is playing catch up to 60 feet. He was placed on the 15-day injured list on June 4, retroactive to June 1. (Last updated: July 5)

1B/3B, (left thumb injury, No. 4 on Nationals Top 30 Prospects list)
Expected return: TBD
The infield prospect was placed on the 7-day injured list due to a thumb injury on May 21, retroactive to May 20. He was removed from Double-A Harrisburg's game on May 18 after being tagged out while sliding head first into home plate. As of June 26, he was back to throwing and running, and the Nationals planned to reevaluate him in a few weeks. If all goes well, a hitting progression would begin soon after that reevaluation. (Last updated: June 26)

60-day IL

LHP (teres major strain)
Expected return: Second half of season
Ferrer began a rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg on July 2. He is slated to pitch on consecutive days with Harrisburg the weekend of July 12, according to Nationals manager Dave Martinez. Washington will then assess his next steps during the All-Star break. Ferrer has not pitched on consecutive days since beginning his rehab assignment. His fastball ranged between 97-99 mph in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League. Ferrer was placed on the 60-day IL on March 24. (Last updated: July 12)

RHP (Tommy John surgery; No. 5 on Nationals' Top 30 Prospects list)
Expected return: Second half of season
According to manager Dave Martinez, Cavalli is staying in D.C. and will continue rehabbing his right elbow. By the week starting July 15, the team hopes he can move his rehab to West Palm Beach, Fla. Cavalli underwent Tommy John surgery on March 22, 2023. (Last updated: July 9)

RHP (right elbow/forearm flexor strain)
Expected return: TBD
Gray is shut down from throwing, and following the All-Star break, he will undergo an MRI and meet with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Meister. He experienced arm fatigue and decreased velocity on almost all of his pitches, including a drop of more than 2 mph on his four-seam fastball, in his latest rehab start on June 30. Gray was placed on the IL on April 9, retroactive to April 6, and he was transferred to the 60-day IL on July 5 to clear space on the 40-man roster. (Last updated: July 5)

RHP (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: 2025
Thompson, 26, underwent his second Tommy John surgery on March 1 after previously undergoing the procedure in high school. He was placed on the 60-day IL on March 24. (Last updated: March 24)