Baseball's hottest player, Washington Nationals outfielder Kyle Schwarber, will miss extensive time with what manager Davey Martinez labeled a "significant" hamstring strain and was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday.
In addition to Schwarber, catcher Alex Avila was also placed on the IL with calf strains. Washington made several other roster moves including acquiring Alcides Escobar from Kansas City and recalling Tres Barrera and Yadiel Hernandez from Triple-A.
News of Schwarber’s injury comes at a bad time for the Nationals, as they have leaped into second place in the NL East after being in dead last less than a month ago. Schwarber was one of the deadliest players in the majors prior to his injury, as he was named NL Player of the Month for June after hitting an astonishing 16 home runs.
Schwarber went down during the second inning of Washington’s 10-5 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday evening. As he was rounding first base on a single, Schwarber appeared to roll his ankle and grabbed his hamstring in immediate discomfort. He headed to the locker room and did not return to the contest.
The Nationals have had a league-best 14-5 mark since June 13, despite having several players missing time with injuries. Pitchers Stephen Strasburg, Erick Fedde, Daniel Hudson, Tanner Rainey and others are still on the Injured List while shortstop Trea Turner has missed two straight games after jamming his finger.
Losing Schwarber will undoubtedly have a big impact on the Nationals as they try to stay hot in the month of July. Washington will need to utilize a new leadoff hitter and left fielder as they take on the Dodgers, Padres and Giants before the All-Star break in the middle of the month.