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Nationals top prospect Victor Robles leaves game with injury after awkward landing

Victor Robles is the Nationals’ top prospect. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The Nationals received a scare Monday afternoon a few hundred miles away in Rochester, N.Y., where Victor Robles, the organization’s top prospect, exited Class AAA Syracuse’s game with a left elbow injury after landing awkwardly while diving for a ball in center field. Clearly in pain, Robles walked off the field with his arm hanging. The sequence was ominous.

But Robles — and the Nationals — received encouraging news later in the night when X-ray results on the left elbow came back negative, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The 20-year-old will travel to Washington for further evaluation Tuesday. A Nationals spokesperson said the club will address Robles’s status then.

A dynamic, five-tool talent, Robles is a consensus top-10 prospect across baseball. He made his major league debut last season, jumping from Class AA Harrisburg to the big leagues to become the youngest player to appear in a major league game in 2017. He played in 13 regular season games and made the postseason roster.

Robles was invited to big league camp for the first time this spring and got off to a strong start before tapering off a couple weeks into Grapefruit League play until he was reassigned to the minor league side.

Regardless, he wasn’t going to break camp with the team unless one of the projected big league outfielders wasn’t healthy. The Nationals wanted him to play every day — not take on a reserve role — and were set on an outfield of Adam Eaton, Michael A. Taylor and Bryce Harper. And by waiting to call him up, they could delay his free agency another year.

There’s a chance they won’t have a choice. While the X-rays were negative, that doesn’t mean he’s in the clear from missing significant time. The Nationals will find out more Tuesday.

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