The Nationals infielder Luis Garcia dealt with a sore groin and may be headed to the injured list. Administrator Dave Martinez forwarded this information to Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.comwho added CJ Abrams was pulled from the Rochester Red Wings lineup today. Dan J. Glickman of Pickin’ Splinters word then relayed from Red Wings manager Matt LeCroy that Abrams’ removal was by order of the big league club, with ESPN’s Jeff Passan later confirming that Abrams will indeed be summoned.
Abrams, of course, was one of the pieces coming to Washington in the Juan Soto business, with many considering him the centerpiece of the return of Washington in the agreement. Abrams got some MLB time with the Padres this year, though the Nats initially optioned him to the minors after the trade. With Garcia’s injury, it looks like he will make his Nationals debut roughly two weeks after the trade.
Even before this wound appeared, recent reporting suggested that Abrams would take over at shortstop, with Garcia moving to second base due to his poor defensive showing at shortstop. Abrams should take over regular shortstop duties for now, with Garcia eventually slotting in next to him at keystone whenever his groin heals. Currently considered the No. 11 prospect across the league by Baseball America, Abrams has yet to hit much at the major league level, but he has hit .310/.360/.480 in Triple-A this season. He will celebrate his 22nd birthday in October.
In other NL East news…
- The Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will take batting practice tomorrow for the first time since fracturing his thumb in June, with Matt Gelb of The Athletics broadcast word from skipper Rob Thomson. Harper was dealing with a torn UCL before that thumb issue, which limited him to DH duty only. Although it was hoped that the downtime of the thumb problem might lead to improvement in the elbow, this does not appear to be the case, with the club only to focus while getting Harper’s bat back into the lineup for now. On that front, getting Harper back in BP is a remarkable step. Despite the torn UCL, Harper hit .318/.385/.599 on the year for a wRC+ of 166. Bringing him back to the Phils would obviously provide a huge boost down the stretch as the club looks to battle their way up. tough postseason race with less than two months now remaining on the schedule.
- While Harper’s progress is good news, the Phillies also received some bad news today. Relief artist Corey Knebel left today’s game with a lat strain, the team announced to reporters, including Gelb. The severity is not yet known, with Knebel now scheduled for an MRI, which will likely provide more information. The pitcher has a 3.45 ERA on the season, although his 20.9% strikeout and 13.6% walk rates both represent career lows. Things looked a lot rosier earlier this month, as Knebel had a 2.59 ERA through a five-run outing on August 2nd. Taking away that one outing would certainly make his numbers look better, though the lack of punch shots and increased free passes are still concerning.
- The Mets announced to reporters, including Tim Britton of The Football Clubthat infielder Luis Guillorme left today’s game with a left groin strain. He will undergo imaging tomorrow. While it’s unclear how serious the issue is, the timing is unfortunate because the Mets’ infield has been hitting lately. Both of them Edward Escobar and Jeff McNeil had to leave Friday’s game due to injuries that forced the club to turn to the outfield Mark Canha as an emergency third baseman. Escobar relieved Guillorme today and McNeil started the game, so it doesn’t seem terribly dire. However, the club may have to consider adding another infielder to the roster to build some rest for such a battered group.