It seems as though the injury suffered by Chad Tracy during Sunday’s game at Atlanta may be a little more serious than originally thought, as the veteran is scheduled to undergo surgery Thursday to repair a torn groin muscle. Early estimates indicate that he’ll likely miss at least 6-8 weeks, according to notes passed along by Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider.
Tracy has been a nice surprise for the Nationals after joining the club on a minor league contract late this past winter. Tracy’s career had seemingly stalled out over the past few years, even including a stint playing for the Hiroshima Carp in Japan during 2011. His .265/.327/.510 line on the season to date is the best he’s hit since the 2008 season. More importantly, Tracy had become one of the key pieces of Davey Johnson’s bench this year, going 6 for 18 as a pinch hitter with an MLB-leading 9 RBI. For perspective, the Nationals only had 14 total pinch hit RBI during the 2011 campaign.
In his absence the team will have another challenge of maintaining production from the bench and will need to utilize a new collection of players. Corey Brown, who took Tracy’s roster spot, will likely be one candidate for at bats after posting strong numbers at Triple-A Syracuse. Roger Bernadina, who’s lost playing time to Rick Ankiel, is another. The options will expand depending on who is bumped from the lineup (likely either Danny Espinosa or Steve Lombardozzi) once Michael Morse returns.