Washington Nationals: Patience needed for Severino and Montero

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 02: Pedro Severino
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 02: Pedro Severino /

With Washington Nationals catcher Matt Wieters on the disabled list, Pedro Severino and Miguel Montero will split playing time. Be patient.

The Washington Nationals find themselves in injury trouble a mere three games into the season.

If you thought the catching spot was tin this spring, well now Matt Wieters is on the disabled list for an oblique injury. Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post says he felt it at the end of Spring Training and the pain did not subside once the season started.

Wieters is on the shelf until April 12 at a minimum. He hopes to come back sooner than later. Which leaves is with the tandem of Pedro Severino and Miguel Montero behind the plate. Before you call for J.T. Realmuto to come north, lets wait and see how things play out.

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Yes, neither is a solid offensive option. Both Severino and Montero hit over .200 in Florida. If Wieters’ injury stretches into May, the Nats will do something to bolster the lineup.

The good news is Daniel Murphy took infield practice over the weekend in Cincinnati and is close to returning to the lineup. That will take pressure off the bottom of the lineup although Washington scored 23 runs in three games.

Still, unless either Severino or Montero can hit, you have a gaping hole on offense to fill. Best case for Wieters, if he can play in 10 days, is returning on the first home stand in time for a four-game set against the Colorado Rockies. It gives him time to adjust before the first west coast trip.

If Wieters is back before April 20, then he can face the Dodgers in Los Angeles. By far, the biggest series of the month. (Sorry, Met fans.)

However, the longer Wieters sits, the less leverage Washington has if Severino and Montero struggle.

Montero is a great receiver and game caller. Severino has plenty of experience with the younger pitchers like A.J. Cole and Sammy Solis. When Wilson Ramos went down with his ACL tear, Severino caught the bulk of innings to finish the year including the playoffs.

This is not a disaster.

But, these are the situations Washington and manager Dave Martinez wanted to avoid. Catcher was the major concern going into the season and that has multiplied.

When healthy this spring, Wieters looked solid. He hit well and his off-season weight loss was a good thing. This was still a “wait-and-see” situation for July, but there was no urgency for a pre-season move.

Next: Roark silences doubters

You cannot say that any more. In this year of expectations, uncertainty is your least-wanted guest.