WASHINGTON -- Nationals top prospect Victor Robles was diagnosed with a hyperextended left elbow, manager Dave Martinez announced after Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Braves. Robles will remain in D.C. until Monday while the club waits for the swelling to go down in his elbow for further evaluation.Playing for Triple-A
WASHINGTON -- Nationals top prospect Victor Robles was diagnosed with a hyperextended left elbow, manager Dave Martinez announced after Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Braves. Robles will remain in D.C. until Monday while the club waits for the swelling to go down in his elbow for further evaluation.
Playing for Triple-A Syracuse, Robles popped out in the first inning before he was removed from the game in the bottom of the second when he landed awkwardly on his left arm diving for a ball in center field. Initial X-rays taken Monday night came back negative.
"When you see the video, I thought he broke his elbow," Martinez said. "Until the swelling goes down, they really can't tell, I don't think, what is really going on. But it is a hyperextension."
It could be potentially a huge setback for the Nationals' No. 1 prospect, and the No. 6 prospect in all of baseball, as rated by MLB Pipeline. Robles has been knocking loudly on the door of the Majors after he got a late-season audition with the team as a September callup in 2017 and flashed his all-around ability.
Robles shined defensively during his time in Spring Training with the Nationals, but he posted a .188/.216/.313 slash line. He was off to a good start with Syracuse, collecting five hits in 13 at-bats with two stolen bases, a pair of walks and just one strikeout.
Robles, 20, batted .250/.308/.458 with a double, two triples, two runs scored and four RBIs in 24 at-bats with the big league club in 2017 after hitting .300/.382/.493 with 55 extra-base hits and 27 stolen bases in 114 games split between Class A Advanced Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.
On his first career triple on Sept. 15, Robles showed off his game-changing speed. Sprinting from home to third in 11.12 seconds, Robles recorded the fastest time for any Nationals player since Statcast™ began tracking in 2015.
That raw speed earned Robles a spot on the Nationals' postseason roster for the National League Division Series.
Washington wanted Robles to play every day in the Minors and was not likely to promote him to the Majors until there was a place for him to do so. He was expected to break into the Nationals' crowded outfield picture as soon as this year if he continued to impress at Triple-A. But his injury comes at a particular inopportune time, considering left fielder Adam Eaton could be destined for the disabled list with a bone contusion in his left ankle.
But for now, the Nats are going to focus on getting Robles back to full strength before he returns to the field.
"He'll be missed for sure," Martinez said. "But hopefully it is good news."
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.