Washington Nationals: Shawn Kelley suffers scary injury in loss

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 23: Shawn Kelley
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 23: Shawn Kelley /
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Washington Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley left the game after suffering a scary arm injury, en route to a 4-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

Throwing overhand is far from a natural motion, which is all too obvious for Washington Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley. The veteran right-hander has undergone two Tommy John surgeries throughout his career, along with suffering several less severe elbow injuries.

Not may pitchers undergo two Tommy John surgeries, meaning Kelley risks blowing out his arm every time he takes the mound. Unfortunately, he may have done just that in San Francisco on Monday night.

Kelley entered in relief of Gio Gonzalez and surrendered a monstrous home run to Mac Williamson on his first pitch. Then, on his fourth pitch of the night, he threw a slider that barely reached the dirt.

Almost immediately after throwing the pitch, Kelley looked towards the ground and appeared to be in discomfort. Dave Martinez and trainer Paul Lessard came to check on Kelley, removing him after a brief conversation.

Throughout the mound visit, everyone involved appeared to be in shock. This may have been in reaction to Kelley’s description of his injury, knowing he has already undergone two Tommy John surgeries.

Kelley was dominant in 2016, but left Game 5 of the NLDS early with an elbow injury and has not been the same since. His arm has appeared to be at less than full strength for the last couple years, and this may have been the final straw.

It will be a shame if this is how Kelley goes out. He has been a terrific member of the Nats for a few years now. Regardless of if he is dominating or struggling, he is a tremendous veteran presence and glue guy in the clubhouse. His steady persona has been nothing short of admirable.

It is never good to speculate, but Kelley’s injury did not look good and may be exaggerated by his history.

In other news, the Nats traded A.J. Cole to the New York Yankees for cash considerations during Monday night’s game.

Cole began the season as the fifth starter, but was moved to the bullpen after two poor starts. He was not much better as a reliever, which led to the Nats designating him for assignment last Friday.

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Monday night’s loss to the Giants was frustrating, but the main focus is on Kelley. He is beloved by everyone on the team and deserves better.

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