Washington Nationals star Juan Soto suffered a calf injury in Sunday’s game against the Miami Marlins. Soto avoided a serious injury and said “everything was fine” after an MRI, which is a positive, but it’s unclear when he’ll be back to 100%. The slugger wasn’t in the starting lineup for Monday’s game, though he did pinch hit in the eighth inning and drew a walk.
After Monday’s game, Nationals manager Dave Martinez addressed Soto’s injury. Martinez acknowledged it as a “day to day” injury but noted that running could be an “issue” for Soto in the coming days:
Martinez on Soto’s upcoming availability: “It’s going to be day to day. … He said he felt better today, and then we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. But the running’s going to be the issue.”
— Jessica Camerato (@JessicaCamerato) July 4, 2022
Washington should want to be as cautious as possible with Soto. It sounds like he’s feeling better, but there’s no reason to push him too hard, especially given the Nationals’ place in the standings. Washington lost 3-2 on Monday and dropped to a woeful 29-53 on the season.
The 23-year-old Soto is having a down season, slashing .226/.384/.449 with 15 home runs and 33 RBI. In his first four seasons in MLB, the superstar never hit worse than .282 and has never had an OBP below .400.
Soto finished last season second in MVP voting and somehow made only his first All-Star Game despite his prior dominance. He helped the Nationals win the World Series in 2019 in just his second year in the majors.
The Nationals star has a big decision to make on his future as his free agency approaches in 2024. Soto is open to extension talks with Washington but is making no commitments just yet.
The key now is just getting healthy and back on track.