NL East Notes: Abrams, Harper, Knebel, Guillorme

Nationals Infielder Luis Garcia has dealt with a sore groin and may be on his way to the injured list. Manager Dave Martinez have passed this information on to Mark Zuckerman from MASNsports.comwho added CJ Abrams was pulled from the Rochester Red Wings lineup today. Dan J. Glickman from Pickin’ Splinters then forwarded word from Red Wings manager Matt LeCroy that Abrams’ removal was on the orders of the big league club, with Jeff Passan of ESPN later confirming that Abrams will indeed be summoned.

Abrams, of course, was one of the pieces that came to Washington in theā€¦ Juan Soto trade, and many consider him the centerpiece of Washington’s return to the deal. Abrams got some MLB time with the Padres this year, although the Nats initially picked him after the minors swap. With Garcia’s injury, it looks like he will make his National debut about two weeks after the trade.

Even before this injury surfaced, recent coverage had suggested that Abrams would take over at shortstop, with Garcia moving to second base due to his poor short-term defensive performance. Abrams should take over the regular shortstop service for now, with Garcia eventually joining him at the capstone as his groin heals. Currently, Abrams is considered the #11 contender in the entire league by Baseball America and has not yet scored many at the Major League level, but has hit .310/.360/.480 in Triple-A this season. In October he will celebrate his 22nd birthday.

In other NL East news…

  • Phillies’ slugger Bryce Harper will be taking punch training tomorrow for the first time since he broke his thumb in June, with: Matt Gelb of The Athletic passing word from skipper Rob Thomson. Harper was dealing with a torn UCL before that thumb issue, which had limited him to DH duties only. While it was hoped that the downtime from the thumb problem would lead to elbow improvement, that doesn’t appear to be the case, with the club just concentrating on getting Harper’s bat back into the lineup for now. In that regard, getting Harper back to BP is a remarkable step. Despite the torn UCL, Harper has hit .318/.385/.599 on the year for a wRC+ of 166. Bringing him back to the Phils would obviously be a huge boost as the club struggles through a tough race after the season with less than two months left on the schedule.
  • While Harper’s progress is good news, the Phillies also got some bad news today. redeemer Corey Knebel left today’s game with a lat strain, the team announced to reporters, including: gelb. The severity is not yet known, with Knebel now scheduled for an MRI that is likely to provide more information. The pitcher has a 3.45 in the season ERA, although his strikeout percentage of 20.9% and running percentages of 13.6% both represent the worst careers. Things looked much brighter earlier this month, as Knebel had a 2.59 ERA until a five-run outing on August 2. If he took that one outing away, his numbers would definitely look better, though the lack of punchouts and more free passes are still a concern.
  • The Mets announced to reporters including: Tim Britton of The Athleticthat infielder Luis Guillormea left today’s game with a strained left groin. He will have an ultrasound tomorrow. While it’s unclear how serious the problem is, the timing is unfortunate as the Mets’ infield has taken a beating lately. Both Eduardo Escobar and Jeff McNeil had to leave Friday’s game due to injuries, forcing the club to turn to the outfield Mark Canha as emergency third baseman. Escobar relieved Guillorme today and McNeil started the match so it doesn’t look very dire. However, the club may have to consider adding another infielder to its roster to build in some rest for such a disturbed group.


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