Washington Nationals’ Nelson Cruz sits with lower back stiffness, could return today…

Nelson Cruz, 41, and struggling at the beginning of his first 12 months because the Washington Nationals’ DH, and his 18th main league season total, after he signed a 1-year/$15M free agent cope with the Nats in mid-March, was 0 for 3 with a Ok within the opener in Colorado’s Coors Discipline and 1 for 16 in 4 video games on the present street journey, when he left the sport in opposition to the Rockies earlier than making a fourth plate look within the high of the seventh on Tuesday night time.

“Cruz had slightly stiffness in his again, decrease again, so I wished to get him out,” skipper Davey Martinez instructed reporters following the 10-2 win for the visiting membership, “… get him labored on the remainder of the night time, and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow, so will probably be a day-to-day factor.”

It wasn’t the primary he’d heard of a problem with Cruz’s again, however it was one thing that cropped up comparatively not too long ago.

“I heard about it at the moment,” Martinez defined, “and he tried earlier than the sport, he bought it free, after which as the sport went on, sitting there, it simply tightened up, and he stated it wasn’t dangerous, however I stated, ‘Hey, let’s simply get you out, and get you labored on, and we’ll see how you’re feeling tomorrow.”

By way of 21 video games and 104 plate appearances early this season, Cruz, who wasn’t again within the lineup on Wednesday night time, is 13 for 91 (.143/.233/.209) with two house runs, 11 walks, and 18 Ks on the 12 months.

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Earlier within the day, Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo talked to 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports activities Junkies about what he’s seen from the veteran DH within the first month-plus with the Nats.

“I really feel comfy as a result of he feels good,” Rizzo instructed the Junkies. “He had slightly again spasm final night time, however I believe his total well being is sweet, and that makes me really feel good, as a result of — on the finish of the season I believe his numbers are going to be there, simply because he is aware of easy methods to undergo the grind, and he’s such a powerful, succesful hitter, and I believe that he’s bought a whole lot of hits forward of him this 12 months, and I believe that the safety issue of Juan [Soto], with Nellie behind him and Josh [Bell] behind him — I believe is essential not just for Juan, however for the center of our lineup.”

A veteran of 18 seasons, who signed at the beginning of Spring Coaching, and rushed by the method along with his teammates beginning gradual, Rizzo stated, isn’t one thing he’s actual involved about.

“I wouldn’t be apprehensive about him simply but,” he stated. “He’s confirmed that he will get the good thing about the doubt due to the profession that he’s had, I similar to the truth that he’s swinging the bat, and enjoying the sport wholesome. I believe that the hits are going to be there and he’s displaying the bat velocity that he’s had prior to now, and when he’s hit balls with that launch angle, they nonetheless depart the ballpark, and I simply suppose that he’s — once more, shortened Spring Coaching, a veteran participant, he wanted these 5 weeks to get his physique into form, type of joined us late, however I believe that he does his job every day when he involves the ballpark and he’s a pacesetter by instance, and he’s good safety for Juan Soto in that batting order. And he’s going to get his, so on the finish of the season we’ll lookup and say Nellie had a hell of a season like he at all times has.”

Cruz’s supervisor talked earlier than final night time’s recreation concerning the resolution to present him extra day without work to let the again get higher.

“I talked to him, we had a dialog at the moment, and he’s nonetheless slightly stiff, so I’d relatively, like I stated, I’d relatively be cautious,” Martinez defined.

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“He’ll have a chance to pinch hit if we’d like him, and hopefully get him again within the lineup tomorrow.”

Contemplate his age, and Cruz’s 18 years of labor within the majors, do they should use him a bit extra cautiously at this level?

“After I watch him, he strikes round fairly good for his age, and he retains himself in nice form, as everyone knows,” Martinez stated, “so … however I instructed him after we first bought him, ‘Hey, we’ll converse on daily basis, you’ve bought to be sincere with me, let me understand how you’re feeling. You’re not the primary man I’ve had right here who wanted days off,’ as a result of he’s slightly older, however, ‘After all we wish you on the market as many days as doable, however in the event you want a day, don’t be afraid to ask.’ He did provide you with a stiff again, he went on the market yesterday, he felt good earlier than the sport, it was type of chilly, and because the recreation went on he stiffened up. At that time I didn’t wish to threat one thing else taking place to him so we took him out, and like I stated, I talked to him once more at the moment and he stated he felt slightly higher, however simply he feels slightly tight in a single space so I stated, ‘Look, why don’t we simply not begin you and if we’d like you to pinch hit, are you able to do this?’ And he stated, ‘Yeah, I can do this.’ So we’ll go together with that for every now and then we’ll see how he feels after the sport and tomorrow.”