The injuries to left-hander Roenis Elias and infielder Howie Kendrick will prove to be costly for the Washington Nationals.
Washington Nationals’ infielder Howie Kendrick has been one of the most vital parts of the team’s success in 2019. The 36-year-old has bounced back from a season-ending injury in 2018 and produced an All-Star caliber season to date. The veteran has slashed for a line of .316/.367/.526 with 12 home runs, 16 doubles, and 48 runs batted in.
A big part of Kendrick’s production this season has been Nationals’ Manager Dave Martinez keeping Kendrick healthy by not overusing him. Despite doing a great job of this so far, this weekend Washington was unable to dodge an injury bullet regarding Kendrick. The infielder felt some tightness in his hamstring Friday night, forcing him to be scratched from the lineup, and eventually, he was placed on the injured list Sunday afternoon.
Newly acquired left-handed reliever Roenis Elias went down with a hamstring injury of his own this season. Elias was allowed to hit in the seventh inning of Friday’s game against Arizona, and when trying to run out a ground ball came up lame. According to Martinez, Elias was told not to swing the bat.
Both of these injuries could prove costly for the Nationals. In the case of Elias, after designating left-hander Tony Sipp for assignment on Friday, Washington was left with three lefties in their bullpen. With Elias hitting the IL, just Matt Grace and Sean Doolittle remain as left-handed arms in the pen. If Washington gets in a game where they have to use Grace as a long-man, they could be left with Doolittle as their only left-handed option out of the bullpen.
In Kendrick’s case, Washington will need big production out of Matt Adams as the everyday first baseman. With Kendrick’s absence, this will limit the Nationals flexibility, as Adrian Sanchez is their only backup infielder on the roster.
The injuries to Howie Kendrick and Roenis Elias are not devastating for the Washington Nationals, but they could pose some serious problems. Fro a team that has lost seven out of their last ten games, injuries are the last thing the Nationals need.