Henry Rodriguez has made two stints on the disabled list this season for injuries the Nationals said were to his index finger and his lower back. Turns out the biggest issue with the erratic reliever was a bone spur in his right elbow that required surgery today.
Rodriguez was operated on by team orthopedist Wiemi Douoguih; he may not be able to pitch in winter ball but is expected to be fully healed for the start of spring training.
General manager Mike Rizzo said Rodriguez only began complaining about discomfort in his elbow in roughly mid-July, but it's not certain how long he was pitching with the injury, or what effect it had on his performance. After failing to surrender an earned run in any of his first nine appearances this season, Rodriguez posted an 8.14 ERA over his final 26 games.
"I'm not sure what the effect was, but Henry has got great upside," Rizzo said. "He's a power pitcher, and if this injury prevented him from performing at his accustomed level, then that's a good thing. Because when he gets healthy, he should revert back to the guy we saw in spring training and the guy we saw at the beginning of the season."
Rizzo said this injury was similar to the one that caused fellow reliever Drew Storen to miss the season's first 3 12 months. Given a comparable recovery time, Rodriguez could be healed by December, at which point he could appear in some winter league games in his native Venezuela in preparation for spring training.
The Nationals will face the same dilemma with the 25-year-old next year as it did this year: Because Rodriguez is out of options, he will have to make the Opening Day roster or else be exposed to waivers.
Meanwhile, top Nationals draft pick Lucas Giolito underwent Tommy John surgery today, a procedure planned over the last week. Giolito, the 16th overall pick in the June draft, was operated on in his native Los Angeles by orthopedist Lewis Yocum. He's expected to miss the entire 2013 season.
It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.