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Carpenter has setback; Span not ready to swing

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Carpenter has setback; Span not ready to swing

Nationals reliever David Carpenter has stopped his throwing program as he continues to recover from right shoulder inflammation after feeling discomfort while playing catch off flat ground. The veteran will now take two or three days off after receiving anti-inflammatory injections and undergoing an MRI.

The good news is that the MRI showed no structural damage, which alleviated any fears of the injury being something much worse than it was originally classified.

"He's doing fine. He went in for a test to make sure everything is okay, an MRI. All of the results are good," Matt Williams said. "All tests were good."

Williams said Carpenter's throwing program just wasn't going as planned.

"It wasn't getting to where he wanted it to be. He threw a bullpen and it wasn't where he wanted it," he explained. "He wanted to make sure and all indications are that he's okay."

Carpenter, 30, has been on the disabled list since July 12. Before going down he was impressive for the Nationals with a 1.50 ERA through eight appearances in Washington. They acquired him in a trade with the New York Yankees on June 11.

Carpenter's setback comes at an interesting time with the July 31 trade deadline approaching. The bullpen is one area the Nationals could use an upgrade and that has become even more clear with Carpenter's absence.

Denard Span has yet to swing a bat since receiving a cortisone shot in his back on July 13. Span is recovering from back tightness that landed him on the disabled list on July 7.

"That's still unknown. We'll make sure that he gets all the exercises he needs to get to make sure that there's no issues going forward," Williams said.

Williams also added he does not believe Anthony Rendon (left quad strain), Ryan Zimmerman (plantar fasciitis) or Jayson Werth (broken left wrist) will be ready to return from the disabled list in their next series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Nats play at Pittsburgh from Thursday through Sunday. All three are currently on minor league rehab assignment with various affiliates.

"I wouldn't say it's realistic. We'd love to get them as much time as possible," Williams said. "It's all good. But to rush them back after three or four games is pretty quick. We'll see how it goes. I would say that it's probably not likely that they are available this weekend."

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.