WASHINGTON -- Nationals closer Sean Doolittle has a strained left big toe, but the left-hander told Washington manager Dave Martinez he feels fine.Doolittle injured his toe avoiding a liner back the mound during the Nationals' 3-2 win over the Marlins on Friday night at Nationals Park. The 31-year-old underwent an
WASHINGTON -- Nationals closer Sean Doolittle has a strained left big toe, but the left-hander told Washington manager Dave Martinez he feels fine.
Doolittle injured his toe avoiding a liner back the mound during the Nationals' 3-2 win over the Marlins on Friday night at Nationals Park. The 31-year-old underwent an MRI on Saturday and took the day off. Doolittle, who hasn't dealt with foot issues before, threw before the Nationals' series finale against Miami on Sunday.
A significant injury to Doolittle would come at a poor time, as the Nationals have pulled within five games of the Phillies and Braves in the National League East. Martinez didn't use Doolittle in the Nats' 10-2 loss to the Marlins on Sunday.
"He gets in with the trainers, and he's got an unbelievable routine before each game," Martinez said of Doolittle. "And then he goes out and throws. He tells me when he's available and when he's not. Like I said, I have an open dialogue with those guys and I know his history. I want to keep him healthy, and when he says he needs a day, I honestly believe he needs a day."
Doolittle is the midst of perhaps his most impressive season, with a 1.45 ERA, 49 strikeouts and three walks over 37 1/3 innings while recording 22 saves in 23 opportunities. Opponents have hit just .134 off him and he owns a 0.54 WHIP.
Matt Wieters told Martinez he felt good during his first rehab game with Double-A Harrisburg on Saturday. Wieters went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a strikeout and caught again Sunday, going 0-for-2 with a walk. Wieters, Washington's starting catcher before his injury, has been on the disabled list since May 11 with a left hamstring strain.
Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.