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Report: Nationals' Sean Doolittle not convinced MLB season will work amid pandemic

Report: Nationals' Sean Doolittle not convinced MLB season will work amid pandemic

Sean Doolittle arrived at Nationals Park on Wednesday for the start of the club’s second try at spring training after the coronavirus forced MLB to shut down in March. However, the veteran closer is reportedly unsure about how he feels about participating in the season nor is he confident the shortened campaign will be feasible with the pandemic still gripping the country.

“I don’t know [if I’m committed to playing this season], I think I am,” Doolittle said to ABC7’s Scott Abraham. “I’m here. My wife and I have a plan in place.”

Doolittle’s wife, Eireann Dolan, has a chronic lung condition that makes her more susceptible to catching viral pneumonia—a condition that’s forced her into multiple extended hospital stays. Dolan told HBO’s Real Sports that she was scared for her life when MLB was playing spring training games while the coronavirus spread across the U.S.

RELATED: 2020 MINOR-LEAGUE SEASON CANCELED AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

MLB plans to hold a 60-game season beginning July 23-24 with a plethora of safety protocols in place designed to quell the transmission of the disease. Everything from dugout high fives and chewing tobacco to handing over the lineup card before games has been affected. At least for the start of the season, no fans will be allowed to into ballparks to attend games.

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Carter Kieboom breaks Ryan Zimmerman's single-game record for assists by a Nats third baseman

Carter Kieboom breaks Ryan Zimmerman's single-game record for assists by a Nats third baseman

Nationals rookie infielder Carter Kieboom set a new team record for the most infield assists by a third baseman in a game when he recorded 10 over the first eight innings against the Orioles on Friday night.

Kieboom passed Ryan Zimmerman’s record of eight assists, set “many times” according to Nationals Director of Communications Kyle Brostowitz.

Though Kieboom was shifted around the infield for most of the night, his new record comes after an offseason full of questions about his defense.

The natural shortstop is Washington’s heir apparent to Anthony Rendon, who departed for the Los Angeles Angels in free agency last offseason after seven seasons with the Nationals. Kieboom had started just nine games at third in the minor leagues before the start of this season.

He still has plenty left to prove as a major-league third baseman, but Kieboom's record did come on an eventful night for the rookie. In addition to his feat (albeit, a bit fluky of one), Kieboom went 2-4 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored.

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Nationals pull Stephen Strasburg after 16 pitches with apparent hand injury

Nationals pull Stephen Strasburg after 16 pitches with apparent hand injury

Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg was pulled just 16 pitches into his start against the Orioles on Friday after visibly shaking his hand and wincing after several pitches.

The reigning World Series MVP missed the start of the season with a nerve issue in his throwing hand. He returned to the mound Sunday, also against Baltimore, and cruised through four innings before things fell apart in the fifth. On Wednesday, Nationals manager Davey Martinez expressed concern with how he was still feeling a tingling sensation in his hand.

“I was a little bit concerned,” Martinez said during a Zoom press conference. “We will see how he feels. Yesterday he threw a little bit. He still felt it, so we will see where he is at. It’s raining right now, so we will see if he can go out there and throw again today. But we will definitely have to keep an eye on it. It’s a weird thing. He doesn’t feel it all the time. I know he’s in the training room working with the staff and trying to get it to go away.”

Strasburg faced only three batters Friday before getting the hook. He recorded two outs around a solo home run off the bat of outfielder Anthony Santander and was replaced by right-hander Erick Fedde.

The news comes on the heels of the Nationals losing second baseman Starlin Castro to a broken wrist and announcing that lefty reliever Sam Freeman was transferred to the 60-Day Injured List.

Strasburg is in the first season of a seven-year, $245 million extension he signed with the Nationals last offseason.

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