WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Nationals right fielder Juan Soto went on the 10-day injured list with a strained left shoulder on Tuesday, the latest setback for the 2019 World Series champions.
“We thought, ‘Hey, we’re not going to take any chances with him,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We’ll try to get him right as quick as possible.”
Martinez said Soto had been dealing with an issue in recent days, complaining about a tight triceps and soreness.
The team decided to have the 2020 NL batting champion get an MRI exam Tuesday morning. The decision to sideline Soto came less than an hour before Washington’s 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night began.
The club also said that outfielder Yadiel Hernandez was being recalled from its alternate training site.
Soto is batting .300 with two homers and eight RBIs this season. He led the NL in OPS in addition to average a year ago and finished fifth in the league’s MVP voting.
“It’s huge,” Martinez said. “He’s a huge part of our lineup.”
Andrew Stevenson took Soto’s spot in right field Tuesday.
The Nationals began the day in last place in the NL East with a 5-9 record, thanks in large part to problems with their starting rotation.
Stephen Strasburg is on the IL with right shoulder inflammation, Jon Lester began the season on the COVID-19 injured list and has yet to make his Nationals debut, and Max Scherzer is 0-1 heading into his scheduled start Wednesday against the visiting Cardinals.