Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez was lifted from Saturday night’s game against the Orioles due to what the club called “back trouble.” This morning the Nats’ medical team reached a slightly better diagnosis, according to the Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore.
Pudge has “tenderness” in his lower back and will miss the next several games in the hope that rest will cure the ailment. Wil Nieves filled in for him on Saturday and is probably going to start behind the plate for the majority of Washington’s upcoming three-game set with the Giants.
The veteran Rodriguez is batting an impressive .325/.351/.439 this season with one home run, 16 RBI and two stolen bases in 123 at-bats. Nieves, meanwhile, is 11-for-54 (.204) in limited action.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.