Harris' procedure reveals no blood clot

March 27th, 2021

The Nationals received a second victory on Friday, the evening of their 7-3 win over the Mets.

The results from venogram revealed the right-handed reliever did not have a blood clot in his throwing arm. The venogram also ruled out thoracic outlet syndrome.

“The fact that he’s going to be OK and everything came out well and we’re going to get him back -- he’s huge for our team and what he does, especially in the back end of that bullpen,” Martinez said. “It was great news.”

Harris felt numbness in his fingers after throwing one inning of a “B” game on March 13. He underwent an MRI, and a doctor in West Palm Beach, Fla., diagnosed a blood clot. Harris then traveled to St. Louis to meet with Dr. Robert Thompson for a second opinion, which included the venogram.

“It was great news,” Martinez said. “When they told me that, I was pumped up.”

The next step for Harris will be to meet with Nationals lead team physician, Dr. Robin West, in Washington, D.C. The plan is for him to not do any pitching activity before that appointment.

Once Harris is cleared to return, the Nats will look for him to play a key late-inning role along with Brad Hand, Daniel Hudson and Tanner Rainey. Harris threw a scoreless innings in each of his two Grapefruit League appearances this spring, allowing one hit and recording one strikeout.

Soto: ‘I feel better’
was out of the starting lineup on Friday, one day after exiting a 7-3 loss to the Marlins with a right calf cramp. Soto drew an 11-pitch walk against Marlins starter Sixto Sánchez in the first inning and felt discomfort when he reached first base.

“It feels better this morning,” Soto said on Friday afternoon. “I just got a little tight in the middle of my first at-bat last night. They just wanted me to save it and keep it, and they didn’t want me to force it, so they just shut me down.”

The plan is for Soto to receive treatment on Friday and be re-evaluated on Saturday, an off-day for the Nats.

“We’re going to give him a day or two,” Martinez said. “We just want to make sure that he’s right and that he’s fully OK.”

Castro update
also remained out of the lineup on Friday. The 31-year-old infielder has not played since Tuesday’s game against St. Louis, which he exited in the seventh inning because of a mild left hamstring strain. Castro was scheduled to resume jogging on Friday for the first time since that game.

“We’re so close to the end of Spring Training,” Martinez said. “I want to get him healthy.”

Martinez had hoped to get a look at Castro playing third base, instead of second, as the Nats evaluate their options for the hot corner in the final week of camp. There is a possibility Castro might not see action for the rest of Spring Training, as the importance of health could override his reps in the field.

“I told him that I’m not opposed -- if he’s not ready and he feels like he needs extra days -- that we wait as long as we can to get him back on the field, which could be Opening Day,” Martinez said.