Nationals reinstate Juan Soto from COVID-19 injured list

The left fielder will not be in the team’s starting lineup.

SHARE Nationals reinstate Juan Soto from COVID-19 injured list
Left fielder Juan Soto was reinstated by the Washington Nationals from the COVID-19 injured list Tuesday after missing the team’s first seven games of the season.

Left fielder Juan Soto was reinstated by the Washington Nationals from the COVID-19 injured list Tuesday after missing the team’s first seven games of the season.

Julio Cortez/AP

WASHINGTON — Left fielder Juan Soto was reinstated by the Washington Nationals from the COVID-19 injured list Tuesday after missing the team’s first seven games of the season.

Manager Dave Martinez did not put the slugger in Washington’s starting lineup against the New York Mets for the opener of a two-game series Tuesday night. Martinez did say Soto was available to pinch hit.

“I talked to him last night and he really felt like he probably could use another day or two. He said his legs felt a little heavy. His arm was a little sore,” Martinez said. “He tried to ramp it up. ... The last four days, he probably got about 20 at-bats. In that respect, he doesn’t feel that bad, but I want to make sure we keep him healthy. We just got him back. He missed a lot of time.”

Soto was sidelined on Opening Day, July 23, after testing positive for the coronavirus.

He only was allowed to return to workouts on Saturday, part of an unusual four-day break for the Nationals caused by the suspension of the Miami Marlins’ season after a team outbreak of COVID-19.

The Nationals also reinstated right-handed reliever Wander Suero from the IL before Tuesday’s game and optioned outfielder Andrew Stevenson to the club’s alternate training site. Only one corresponding move was necessary because the Nationals already had placed reliever Will Harris on the IL last week.

The 21-year-old Soto is a big part of Washington’s offense. He had 34 homers and 110 RBIs during the 2019 regular season before becoming a postseason star while helping the franchise win its first World Series championship.

During a 3-4 start to the truncated season, the Nationals are averaging 3.4 runs per game and their team OPS is just .704.

Clearly, Martinez wants Soto in the middle of the order. But he also wants to be cautious.

“I told him: ‘You’ve got to understand, too, we do have a DH now. So these days where you need a day off, we can plop you at DH.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I forgot about that,’” Martinez said.

The Latest
Athanasios Zoyganeles wrote, “They are trying to remove Trump anyway they can.The people showed the government.That we will take u out if needed.”
Venice is the first city in the world putting such a system in place.
The officer was shot as he and a partner were getting out of an elevator in a housing complex in the 1300 block of West Taylor Street Friday morning.
In light of employers moving in and out of Chicago, Harry Kraemer Jr. weighs in on what’s important to corporate leaders and how the city’s boosters can appeal to them.
The Bulls and LaVine did have a formal meeting on Thursday — the first day teams could negotiate with free agents — and the guard also met with several other suitors.