Nationals starter Jeremy Hellickson was pulled from Saturday’s game against the Braves after sustaining an apparent wrist injury. He came up to bat in the top of the fourth inning and took a swing against the Braves’ Julio Teheran when he suddenly clenched his right wrist and walked off the field. The full extent of the injury is still unclear, but it was serious enough to prevent the right-hander from returning to the mound in the bottom half of the frame.
Prior to the incident, Hellickson pitched three full innings of one-run, one-strikeout ball, marking his first start in the majors after coming off of the disabled list with a right wrist sprain earlier this week. He owns a 5-3 record in 19 starts with a 3.45 ERA, 1.9 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 through 91 1/3 innings in 2018.
After walking back to the dugout, the righty was swiftly replaced in the lineup by pinch-hitter Andrew Stevenson, while fellow right-hander Jefry Rodriguez assumed his spot on the mound as Atlanta came up to bat in the bottom of the fourth. With Juan Soto‘s RBI single in the first inning (the cherry on top of his record-setting three steals) and Adam Eaton‘s RBI walk in the fourth, the Nationals currently lead the Braves 2-1 in the sixth.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.