Nationals injuries: Ildemaro Vargas, Sean Doolittle

Ildemaro Vargas will begin a rehab assignment this week after getting placed on the 10-day injured list just over two weeks ago due to a left shoulder strain.

The 31-year-old infielder was just 1-for-12 (.083) on the season before being placed on the injured list, with Jeter Downs taking his spot on the 26-man roster. Downs has yet to appear in a game this season. Vargas hopes to have a smooth rehab before re-joining the Nats in his platoon infielder role.

“I want to him to play some shortstop, I want to see him field,” manager Dave Martinez said Thursday. “He’s definitely got to swing the bat. Hopefully, he can swing both left-handed and right-handed. But we’ll see how he does, and we’ll see how long it’s going to take for him to go out and come back. There’s no timetable yet, but hopefully, it’s only a few days.”

Tuesday, left-hander Sean Doolittle tossed a live batting practice session, as the 36-year-old rehabs from elbow surgery last year down in Florida at Washington’s minor league complex. Doolittle signed a minor league deal in November with the Nats in hopes of returning to the club at some point during the 2023 season.

“Basically, where we’re at right now is the start of Spring Training again,” said Martinez. “He’s going to have to get a couple live BPs and then see how he does from there. But he’s going to have to pitch, we’re going to have to get him back-to-back days, so we’ve still got some time.”

The Nats also made a few other moves lower in the organization.

  • Right-handed reliever Tommy Romero was reinstated from the Triple-A Rochester injured list. The 25-year-old reliever last pitched on April 18 and has yielded 12 earned runs in 11 innings across four outings (9.82 ERA) for the Red Wings this season after starting one game for the Nats last season.
  • 21-year-old catcher Ivan Murzi who has spent the past two seasons struggling at the plate in the Florida Complex league was placed on the Development List.
  • Catcher Onix Vega, 24, started the season playing eight games with Triple-A Rochester but has been moved to High-A Wilmington, where he spent 66 games in 2022.
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