The Nationals are getting one step closer to the return of reliever Wander Suero.
The reliable right-hander joined the Nats on their trip to Yankee Stadium, where they opened a three-game series on Friday. Suero is scheduled to go through his throwing program and then join the Rochester Red Wings, Washington's Triple-A affiliate, for a game on Sunday against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Allentown, Pa. The plan is for him to throw one inning.
Suero has been on the injured list since April 18 because of a left oblique strain. Leading up to the injury, he had appeared in eight of the Nats' first 12 games this season. He only allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings during that stretch.
"We think Suero's close," manager Dave Martinez said on Friday.
Joining Suero on the road is starting right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who is on the IL (retroactive to April 15) because of right shoulder inflammation. Strasburg is scheduled to follow his throwing program at Yankee Stadium and will then pitch in a simulated game on Tuesday at Nationals Park. There is no timetable for his return.
This season, players on the IL can travel with the Nationals on the road because their alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Va., is the home park of their Low-A affiliate. The Nats are basing their decision of who joins the road trips on how far along the player is in his rehab work.
"When these guys have to stay back or go somewhere else, it's never the same for them," Martinez said. "They're so used to their teammates and what we do here, so it's kind of nice that they're there with us."
Bronx visit sparks memories for Martinez
Playing in Yankee Stadium brings back vivid memories for Martinez. Growing up in New York, he attended his first Major League game at the original stadium as a 9-year-old with his father.
"I came to see who was one of my favorite players -- Reggie Jackson," Martinez recounted. "I got to really go down there and see him up close. That was always something that I always remember coming to Yankee Stadium. We didn't go to very many games, but going to that first game at Yankee Stadium always was on my mind."
Martinez picked up some souvenirs that day, too, including one from a Cy Young Award winner.
"Ron Guidry signed a baseball for me, which was pretty cool because I used to pitch," Martinez said. "That's who I liked emulating a lot."
Honorary Bat Girls to be recognized on Mother's Day
Major League Baseball will recognize over 30 Honorary Bat Girls for their efforts in the fight against breast cancer on Mother's Day. This season, the Nationals are honoring breast cancer survivor and community advocate Lara Hopewell, who has raised more than $1 million for cancer research fundraising. In addition to serving on the Inova Schar Cancer Institute Advisory Board, Hopewell also mentors through the SOS (Survivors Offering Support) program and set a record for the number of breast cancer mentees.
The selection of Honorary Bat Girls is part of the "Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative, which raises awareness and funds for efforts addressing breast cancer. Teams playing on the road on Sunday, like the Nationals at Yankee Stadium, will choose an alternate date for the honorees.