Lucas Giolito was in the mix to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft until an elbow injury ended his high school season.
He fell to the Nationals with the 16th overall pick and signed just before the deadline for $2.925 million. And now after just one minor-league start his elbow is injured again.
Keith Law of ESPN.com reports that Giolito was pulled from his debut after two innings because he showed decreased velocity and the right-hander will be examined later this week by Dr. Lewis Yocum.
Elbow surgery wouldn’t be a death sentence for an 18-year-old pitcher, obviously, and the Nationals would probably still have taken Giolito at No. 16 if they knew he’d need to go under the knife. Even after 12 months on the sidelines and the uncertain nature of the recovery in general his upside would still be much higher than a typical mid-first rounder. And clearly they knew it was a strong possibility.
Update, 7:49 PM ET: The Nationals placed Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right Achilles injury. In a corresponding move, right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Double-A Potomac.
Nationals left fielder Howie Kendrick was removed from the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers after injuring his right leg. In the eighth inning, Kendrick tracked a Max Muncy sac fly to the wall, but landed strangely on his right leg and fell to the ground. Unable to put weight on it, he was forced to exit the field on a cart and was sent to undergo an MRI soon afterward, the results of which have yet to be revealed.
While the Nationals have not specified the nature or severity of Kendrick’s injury, Martinez revealed that it’s located in the “lower part” of the outfielder’s leg and appears to be quite severe. He’ll likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list in the next couple of days, though the recovery process could take even longer.
Prior to the incident, Kendrick was off to a hot start this season. Entering Saturday’s doubleheader, he carried a batting line of .302/.331/.477 with 18 extra-base hits and an .808 OPS in 157 plate appearances. He went 1-for-3 on Saturday with a base hit in the seventh inning. Andrew Stevenson subbed in for Kendrick following the injury and has been tabbed to start in left field for the second game of the doubleheader at 8:05 PM ET.