Adding to their long list of significant injuries to position players, the Washington Nationals announced Thursday afternoon that catcher Matt Wieters underwent surgery to repair his left hamstring. Further information, according to the club, will be provided when Wieters returns to Washington and is evaluated by the Nationals’ medical staff.
Wieters hurt the hamstring Friday rounding first base on a routine single and was placed on the disabled list the next day with a strained left hamstring. Manager Dave Martinez said Wieters was to undergo an MRI exam, but he said he didn’t have any updates to share when asked about the exam Tuesday and Wednesday. Less than 24 hours later, the Nationals’ PR Twitter account posted the news of Wieters’s surgery, which indicated he tore his hamstring.
Surgeries to repair torn hamstrings are not minor procedures, and the resulting recovery period is usually significant. Pedro Severino, who is batting .274 in 25 games, will assume the everyday load, but the depth behind him is thin.
Spencer Kieboom wasn’t on Washington’s 40-man roster before he was called up to replace Wieters, leaving Tuffy Gosewisch and Jake Lowery with Class AAA Syracuse. Gosewisch, 34, has appeared in 137 major league games, batting .190 with a .499 OPS. Lowery, who was promoted from Class AA to replace Kieboom, hasn’t appeared in a game above Class AA.
Raudy Read probably would have been next in line, but he’s serving an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Miguel Montero was designated for assignment two weeks into the season because he performed poorly. Jhonatan Solano is on the 60-day disabled list with an elbow injury. As a result, the Nationals will likely be in the market for a catcher, especially if Wieters is unlikely to return this season.
A free agent this winter, Wieters is batting .231 with three home runs and a .727 OPS in 23 games. Those numbers represent an upgrade over last season, when he batted .225 with a .632 OPS and 64 OPS+. His OPS+ this season is 97 (100 is league average).
The 31-year-old was placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain last month but missed just eight games. This stint figures to be much longer.
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