That’s the most predictable headline of the spring so far, isn’t it?
Nationals manager Jim Riggleman told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on Sunday that right-hander Chien-Ming Wang showed progress in a recent bullpen session but has no chance of breaking camp as a member of the club’s 25-man roster. He’s still recovering from that major shoulder surgery that he underwent back in mid-2009 and won’t be back to full health for several more weeks.
Here’s more from Riggleman, via the Post.
“For a starting pitcher, there’s no way we’ll get him stretched out,’ Riggleman said. “Until [pitching coach] Steve McCatty tells me there’s not only progress, but consistent progress for a couple progress for a couple weeks, then we’ll think about that. You can’t get too high or low about a bullpen session.”
With this winter’s $1 million contract included, the Nationals have now committed $3 million to Wang and been given exactly zero innings in return. He hasn’t pitched in a big league game since July 4, 2009.
Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton was carried off the field after stumbling over first base on Friday night. In the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Mets, Eaton appeared to catch his ankle on the bag as he ran out an infield single, suffering a leg injury on the fall. He was unable to put pressure on his left leg after the play and required assistance by two of the Nationals’ athletic trainers as he exited the field.
Eaton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday, but Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker told reporters that it “doesn’t look too good.” It’s the first significant leg injury the outfielder has sustained since 2014, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain. He’ll likely be replaced by Michael Taylor in center field for the next couple of games, though that could be a temporary fix as the Nationals seek a better solution during Eaton’s recovery process.
It’s been just over a week since Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner got a serious scare after a nasty dirt bike accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and a Grade 2 strain of his left shoulder AC joint, but there was some speculation that the injuries would cause a significant, if not permanent, setback in the southpaw’s career. Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bleak today. Not only will Bumgarner not require surgery, but he could return as soon as the week following the All-Star break, the Giants said Friday.
Of course, that timeline is wholly dependent on how smoothly the recovery process goes, so nothing is set in stone yet. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic estimates 2-3 months of rest and rehab, including “two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he’s big league-ready.” It’s a long and laborious schedule, but still looks much better than any surgical alternative.
Prior to the accident, Bumgarner was working on a solid start to the 2017 season. He maintained a 3.00 ERA, 1.3 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 through 27 innings with the club, though his average 1.75 runs of support per start fed into an 0-3 record.