Washington Nationals: Koda Glover pitched with rotator cuff issues
By Ron Juckett
To add insult to injury, Washington Nationals closer Koda Glover revealed he has a severely inflamed right rotator cuff. Where do the Nats go from here?
Washington Nationals fans received a stunning blow Wednesday when injured closer Koda Glover revealed he has a severely inflamed rotator cuff.
Glover, already on the disabled list for tweaking his back while slipping in the shower, injured his right arm in late May and tried to pitch through the pain. When he will throw again is unknown.
Addressing reporters, including Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post, he said regarding the pain:
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"“But the inflammation, we’re still waiting for it to go away. I’m just glad I’m able to move my arm.”"
Glover emerged from Spring Training as the best reliever out of an unsteady bullpen, but watched as the closer job went to Blake Treinen. A relapse of his labrum injury from last year landed him on the disabled list in April. After Treinen and Shawn Kelley crashed out of the closer’s job, Glover ran with it.
Perhaps too fast.
At the moment, the Nats do not have a closer. For the regular season, it probably does not matter as the NL East race looks over. October is different. Overpowering bullpen strength won the last two World Series for the Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs. A far cry from where Washington is now.
It is unclear how long the Nats have known about the shoulder problem. Remember, Glover pitched after slipping in the shower and legitimately blew his first save chance. He shut it down the next day. Was he honest about the rotator cuff then?
Glover pitched well enough during his brief time at closer that Washington could have traded for another setup man and not move top prospects this season. It is a different story now. Closer is the biggest issue the team has. It is a required role on championship teams.
Yet, with Glover’s injury, the Nats have less trade leverage than they had before. Amazing if you think about it because they virtually had none to begin with. The Lerner family’s refusal to trade for David Robertson from the Chicago White Sox or sign Greg Holland when they had the chance lingers over the team like a thunderstorm.
For all the talent this team has, it is silly to leave the Nats coming into the year unfinished. The price to fix the mistake grows daily.
With three substantial injuries over the last year, it is impossible to think of Glover being durable as a pitcher. His stubbornness delayed recovery at least twice and possibly a third time if he was not honest about his rotator cuff when he went on the disabled list.
How Mike Rizzo—a true genius at trades—fixes this mess is interesting. His work is cut out for him.