Nationals pitcher Austin Voth suffered a broken nose after being hit in the face by a Vince Velasquez pitch. In the third inning of today’s 12-6 Nats loss to the Phillies, Voth squared to bunt but couldn’t avoid Velasquez’s off-target fastball in time. Voth did walk off the field under his own power, and Washington manager Davey Martinez told reporters (including Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com) that the right-hander would have his nose reset tonight.
Today was Voth’s first official start of the season, though it was intended as something of a glorified opener/piggyback outing since Voth has worked out of the bullpen all season. After inconsistent results as a starter over his first three seasons, Voth has delivered strong bottom-line results in the form of a 2.73 ERA over 29 2/3 innings in his multi-inning reliever role, though advanced metrics (like a 92.3% strand rate and a .239 BABIP) indicate some good fortune.
Martinez also related the incident to the league’s efforts to crack down on pitchers’ use of foreign substances on the ball, saying that “you’ll see more [hit by pitches] if we keep messing around with the stuff about the balls. I understand them trying to clean some stuff up. But it’s hot, it’s slippery, it’s sweaty. I know Velasquez didn’t throw in there intentionally, but I’m afraid that if we don’t come up with something unified for everybody, you’ll see a lot more of that. And that’s a scary feeling.”
More injury updates from the Senior Circuit…
- Tyler Naquin left Sunday’s 8-7 Reds victory over the Cardinals due to left hamstring tightness. Naquin took something of an awkward slide into second base in the first inning, and was replaced by a pinch-hitter for his next plate appearance in the top of the third. Naquin has cooled down after a scorching-hot opening month of the season, but the outfielder still has an impressive .257/.333/.509 slash line and 11 homers over 189 plate appearances while emerging as Cincinnati’s everyday center fielder. Reds manager David Bell told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon and other reporters that the removal was precautionary in nature, and Naquin could be back as early as Tuesday for the Reds’ next game.
- Yadier Molina left yesterday’s game after taking a foul tip off his kneecap, and the veteran catcher wasn’t in today’s Cardinals lineup. However, manager Mike Shildt told reporters (including Stu Durando of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) that “it looks like a little-bit-of-rest situation” and that Molina might have been able to play today in the event of an emergency. The Cards have off-days both tomorrow and Thursday, so Molina might not miss much time even if he does need more than a day to recover.
- There isn’t much new progress with the status of either Brandon Nimmo or J.D. Davis, as neither Mets regular seems close to a return. As Mets manager Luis Rojas told The New York Daily News’ Deesha Thosar and other reporters, Nimmo is taking swings but not off a tee or against actual pitches, as he continues to recover from a nerve problem in his left index finger. Davis isn’t swinging whatsoever, as his sprained left hand will be in a splint for the next few days. Jonathan Villar is battling a tight hamstring and wasn’t in today’s starting lineup, as Rojas said the team is being cautious with Villar after he was able to come off the bench on both Friday and Saturday.