NEW YORK — The Nationals needed to add a starting pitcher to face the Yankees on Wednesday night because Stephen Strasburg and Jeremy Hellickson, two members of the starting rotation, recently went down with injuries. First, Hellickson landed on the 10-day disabled list June 5 with a right hamstring strain. Strasburg joined him Sunday with right shoulder inflammation.
Washington selected Erick Fedde for Wednesday, and while he joined the team in the Bronx for his fifth career start, Strasburg and Hellickson stayed in Washington to continue their recoveries. Manager Dave Martinez said Strasburg, who exited his start last Friday after two innings, hasn’t resumed throwing.
“We’re going to take it day-to-day and see where he’s at,” Martinez said. “Get his strength back, number one, and then we’ll go from there.”
Hellickson, meanwhile, has started throwing “a little bit,” according to Martinez.
“He’s still building up strength in his hamstring,” Martinez said. “I think he threw a little bit, but not much. But we want to make sure that his strength is really good before he starts getting on the mound.”
With Fedde, the Nationals have four starters on their roster, which can get them through Monday, when they are scheduled to finish a suspended game and play a whole game against the Yankees at Nationals Park. The suspended game will resume in the sixth inning with the game tied at 3, so Washington could use relievers to finish it. Fedde would then be in line to start the second game, but they wouldn’t have a starter on normal rest for Tuesday against the Orioles.
Hellickson would be eligible to come off the disabled list by then, but based on his progress thus far, that appears unlikely. The Nationals could turn to Austin Voth or Jefry Rodriguez, two starting pitchers in the minors on their 40-man roster. Voth has been called up to the big leagues twice this season, but has yet to appear in a major league game. The 25-year-old has a 4.37 ERA in 12 starts with Class AAA Syracuse this season.
Rodriguez made his major league debut in a pinch, relieving Hellickson after he threw four pitches against the Braves on June 3. The 6-foot-6 right-hander held Atlanta scoreless over 4 2/3 innings before he was sent back down to Class AA Harrisburg. Rodriguez, 24, has a 3.57 ERA in 12 starts for Harrisburg.
- The Nationals optioned right-hander Trevor Gott to Class AAA Syracuse on Wednesday to clear a spot on the active roster for Fedde. Gott, 25, has tallied a 4.96 ERA in 18 appearances with Washington this season.
- Washington re-signed outfielder Rafael Bautista to a minor league deal Wednesday. The club had released Bautista over the weekend to make room on the 40-man roster for Adam Eaton. Bautista, 25, underwent season-ending surgery on his left knee last month. By re-signing with the club, Bautista will rehab with the team in hopes of returning to the diamond next season.
- The Nationals announced that they’ve signed 22 of the 40 players they selected in last week’s draft. Second-rounder Tim Cate, a left-hander out of U-Conn., is the highest picked player signed. Cate signed for $986,200 — his assigned slot value as the No. 65 overall pick — according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
- Washington also agreed to terms with Arizona State outfielder Gage Canning (fifth round), Florida State right-hander Andrew Karp (sixth round), Iowa catcher Tyler Cropley (eighth round) and Lamar right-hander Tanner Driskill (ninth round).
Adam Eaton RF
Trea Turner SS
Bryce Harper CF
Anthony Rendon 3B
Daniel Murphy DH
Matt Adams 1B
Juan Soto LF
Wilmer Difo 2B
Spencer Kieboom C
Erick Fedde P
Brett Gardner LF
Aaron Judge RF
Didi Gregorius SS
Giancarlo Stanton DH
Aaron Hicks CF
Miguel Andujar 3B
Greg Bird 1B
Austin Romine C
Gleyber Torres 2B
Sonny Gray P
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