WASHINGTON -- Sean Doolittle completed another simulated game on Sunday morning, and the stress reaction in his left foot had improved from his first sim game on Friday. His return from the disabled list now seems imminent, as manager Dave Martinez said the lefty could be activated at some point
WASHINGTON -- Sean Doolittle completed another simulated game on Sunday morning, and the stress reaction in his left foot had improved from his first sim game on Friday. His return from the disabled list now seems imminent, as manager Dave Martinez said the lefty could be activated at some point early this week.
Doolittle said his foot felt good after throwing, shifting his focus on the mound to preparing his arm for a return.
"I think those two things go hand and hand," Doolittle said. "Last time we talked about making sure we hit all the checkpoints coming back, not cutting any corners and stuff. … I'm really happy with how today went. Another good day to build on."
Doolittle has been sidelined since July 10, retroactive to July 7, with a foot injury that lasted much longer than either he or the Nats anticipated. His first few attempts to throw off the mound were hampered by discomfort in his foot, but he has felt rapid improvement lately. On Sunday, Doolittle felt his mechanics and movement on his pitches were much more consistent.
Washington could use the return of its All-Star closer. Doolittle owned a 1.45 ERA with 22 saves and 49 strikeouts in 35 games before he landed on the DL.
Fedde to return Tuesday
Erick Fedde will be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday to replace the vacant rotation spot left by Giovany Gonzalez. Fedde, who has been on the DL since July 4 with right shoulder inflammation, made three Minor League rehab starts, surrendering four runs in 14 2/3 innings with 13 strikeouts and five walks.
In six starts in the Majors this year, the 25-year-old Fedde has posted a 5.79 ERA, but has shown strides in his second year.
The Nats have a chance to test out a few starters during the final month of the season as auditions for what they may offer next season, including Fedde -- the team's fifth-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline -- along with Joe Ross, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, and Jefry Rodriguez, who started Sunday afternoon.
"The thing about it, especially with Fedde and Joe, they're coming off the disabled list," Martinez said. "It's just making sure that they're healthy and they continue to progress. Not going backwards. Talked to Fedde a lot about his mechanics as well, because he's been hurt quite a bit. Trying to clean up his mechanics so he doesn't end up on the DL and he can pitch a whole year."
Kelvin Herrera underwent successful surgery Thursday to repair the torn Lisfranc ligament in his left foot. Martinez did not offer up a timetable for Herrera, who will be a free agent at the end of the year, but his rehab process will last into the offseason.
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.