PITTSBURGH — Washington Nationals reliever Hunter Strickland said on social media that he broke his nose Tuesday while lifting weights at PNC Park. Manager Dave Martinez described the incident before Tuesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, noting that Strickland would undergo X-rays. A person with knowledge of the situation confirmed Martinez’s account.
Strickland was seen in the clubhouse around 4 p.m., his nose bandaged and the right side of his face noticeably red. His eyes were a bit watery as he went to meet head athletic trainer Paul Lessard. They soon went to get X-rays at a nearby doctor’s office, and not long after Strickland headed to Instagram.
“Broken nose never killed anyone,” he wrote. "… barbell=1 me=0″
Strickland didn’t appear in the game, a 4-1 loss to the Pirates; the Nationals used relievers Wander Suero and Daniel Hudson after getting seven scoreless innings from Stephen Strasburg. Martinez said afterward that Strickland was available to pitch if needed and should avoid the injured list.
As for Tuesday night’s game, Martinez said he preferred the matchups Suero faced in the eighth, so Strickland’s health did not factor into his bullpen decisions.
The Nationals acquired Strickland in a trade deadline deal with Seattle, and he has a 1.29 ERA in eight appearances with the club. He had missed most of this season with a strained right lat muscle, pitching in just four games with the Mariners, but the Nationals took a flier on him after scouting his minor league appearances.
Strickland’s injury came amid a busy pregame for the Nationals. Martinez confirmed that Joe Ross, not Erick Fedde, will stay in the rotation once Max Scherzer returns, but Ross’s status for Saturday’s start is uncertain because of a right shin contusion. Ross was hit in the leg by a sharp comebacker in the Nationals’ win Monday. He had a wrap on his shin before Tuesday’s game, and Martinez said Ross was “pretty sore.” If Ross can’t make his next start, Fedde will take his place with a little extra rest; he previously pitched Sunday.
Left-hander Roenis Elías is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Thursday at PNC Park. Elías, another reliever acquired from the Mariners ahead of the trade deadline, injured his right hamstring running to first base in his first game with the Nationals. He has been rehabbing and was eligible to come off the injured list a week ago. But Washington is taking its time, wanting to make sure Elías is healthy enough to pitch for the rest of the season.
Trea Turner, SS
Adam Eaton, RF
Anthony Rendon, 3B
Juan Soto, LF
Asdrúbal Cabrera 2B
Matt Adams, 1B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Victor Robles, CF
Stephen Strasburg, P
Adam Frazier, 2B
Bryan Reynolds, LF
Starling Marte, CF
Josh Bell, 1B
Colin Moran, 3B
José Osuna, RF
Kevin Newman, SS
Jacob Stallings, C
Chris Archer, P
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Last time out: Nationals continue to score early and often, open series against Pirates with a laugher
Thomas Boswell: Dave Martinez did Sean Doolittle no favors, and now the Nats’ closer is on the injured list