Had Goodwin not pinch hit Sunday, the Nationals could have backdated his disabled list stint to the weekend, meaning he would be required to miss less time. But Dave Martinez said the trouble was off and on — good enough to play one day, not good enough to play the next — and eventually, he and the team decided it was best to shut Goodwin down to avoid lingering trouble. Martinez said Goodwin needed convincing and did not seem entirely convinced even as he discussed the move at his locker before the game.
“I’ve felt better,” Goodwin said. “I would feel a lot better if I were playing right now, but I’m not.”
As of Tuesday, Goodwin was second to Bryce Harper for the team lead in RBI with eight, though four of them came on one swing. He is hitting .250 with a .762 OPS, and had established himself as the regular fill-in for Adam Eaton before the injury. Now, Moises Sierra seems likely to get most time there until Eaton’s return.
The Nationals have already delved deep into their outfield depth, after Eaton suffered a bone bruise to his ankle that forced them to call up Sierra and Matt Reynolds. Because of all the injuries, elite prospect Victor Robles almost certainly would have gotten a call-up at some point in these first few weeks, but he is injured, too. Without him, the Nationals’ outfield depth drops off significantly.
Stevenson is an above-average defender, but he is not major league ready offensively, and he and others in the organization admitted as much when injuries forced him into major league duty last season. Sierra has chipped in more than anyone could have hoped, but he is not Robles, either. Eaton is eligible to come off the disabled list at the end of the week, and Martinez said he is optimistic the outfielder will do so.
Martinez is also optimistic third baseman Anthony Rendon will not need to spend time on the disabled list, and so is Rendon. Though he has not run since fouling a ball off his left big toe Friday night, Rendon believes he will be able to do so soon and is confident he will not need the full 10 days that would have justified a disabled list stint. He is not in the lineup Tuesday, which will be his fourth game missed due to the injury.
Trainers drilled into Rendon’s toenail to drain the blood, so now he is just dealing with the discomfort of a significant bruise. But he thinks he will be able to test the toe this week and return some time in the next few days.
The Nationals could certainly use him. Their starting lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Mets includes four of their projected eight position-playing starters, and a non-roster invitee (Sierra) hitting fifth.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS (8–9)