The Washington Nationals likely lost rehabbing relief pitcher Koda Glover for the season. He shaped up to be an x-factor for the bullpen in 2019.
Glover ended the 2018 season on a roll, posting a 1.59 ERA over his last 15 appearances which totaled 11.1 innings and 44 total batters faced.
Glover has a 70-grade fastball and slider and the moxie of a closer. He would have been an invaluable asset to the 2019 Nationals bullpen, so it is incredibly discouraging to hear that he is being shut down for the time being.
Before yesterday’s game, manager Dave Martinez told media members that Glover received a PRP injection after meeting with Dr. James Andrews. A PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection is used to accelerate the healing process in various ailing body parts.
Glover chose to receive the injection and halt action for six weeks rather than opt for surgery.
Glover, originally, had a right forearm strain which he sustained before spring training games started this winter. He was transferred to the 60-day Injured List in late April.
This isn’t the first time Glover had a major injury. In 2017, Glover tore his rotator cuff in June and, after failed attempts at rehabbing it, was shut down for that season.
Glover’s injury this year is continuing an unfortunate trend for the right-hander, which is bad for the team and its struggling bullpen. Had Glover been in-place for the start of the year, many of its problems might not have existed.
Glover projected as a risky player, but his upside was undeniable. He blitzed through the Nats’ minor league system with his 97 mile per hour fastball and a wipeout slider so good that Yasiel Puig got mad at it.
Glover found immediate success in the majors, posting a 3.72 FIP in 2016 and 2017 before getting injured. If the start in which he injured himself is ignored, that number drops to a 3.31 FIP in 38.1 innings pitched.
After struggling in his return in the 2018 season, he found his footing and had the inside track to earning high leverage innings in 2019.
Now, with Tommy John surgery as an option if the PRP injection cannot fix Glover, it appears that injuries might be a hurdle Glover might never be able to jump over.
This will force the Nationals to look elsewhere for their closer in the post-Sean Doolittle era.