Seth Romero slipped and broke his non-pitching hand Saturday night, the Nationals announced Monday. They have added left-hander Ben Braymer to the active 28-man roster to replace Romero, who was placed on the 10-day injured list.
Davey Martinez said Romero “slipped on the steps” Saturday -- Martinez said he did not ask him where -- and decided to put his non-pitching hand down to brace himself. Romero’s fall came after he pitched in the second game of the Nationals’ doubleheader Saturday. He thought his hand was just swollen, but X-rays on Sunday showed a break.
“I feel bad for the kid,” Martinez said. “He worked diligently to get here. And, he’s still young. He’s a big part of our future. He had the Tommy John and he worked really hard to get back and he’s doing well. Hopefully, it’s just a minor setback for him. As soon as he heals, we’ll get him back here.”
Romero has made just three appearances, including his major-league debut, this season. He has a 13.50 ERA across 2 ⅔ innings pitched.
He was the Nationals’ first-round pick in the 2017 draft. Romero came to spring training, then was sent home from there for conduct detrimental to the team, in 2018. He had Tommy John surgery in late August of 2018.
The Nationals plan to keep Romero, 24, moving while he is on the injured list. They want him to run, and keep his left (pitching) arm, in shape, so that when he can squeeze his glove again, he can return to the roster.
The Nationals have dealt with a flood of injuries and setbacks. Starlin Castro had surgery last week. Stephen Strasburg is going to have surgery this week. Will Harris and Sean Doolittle have been on the injured list. Howie Kendrick went eight days between games because of hamstring tightness. Not to mention Juan Soto’s two stints in quarantine because of coronavirus protocols. So, when asked for his reaction to the news about Romero, Martinez pulled his red Nationals hat down over his face during a Zoom call with reporters.
“I’m looking for the end,” Martinez said with a smile. “When everybody tells me, hey, everybody’s healthy, everybody’s good, let’s go... I guess it’s part of the game.”
Braymer is one of the few left-handed options for the bullpen available at the alternate training site in Fredericksburg. Doolittle -- who was eligible to come off the 10-day injured list Friday -- would also be an option. The Nationals instead picked Braymer. One benefit of having Braymer in the bullpen is his ability to pitch multiple innings if necessary.