WASHINGTON— When Austin Voth hit the 10-day injured list with ‘arm soreness’ many in the Nationals organization believed that it wouldn’t last too long and the injury was just due to fatigue. Now, an MRI has revealed that Voth has shoulder tendinitis according to Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post.
The Nationals plan to “be careful with him moving forward” according to manager Davey Martinez. Shoulder tendinitis is one of the more scarier injuries that a pitcher can deal with as it can linger for a few weeks to six months. Voth threw on Monday but after his throwing session he still felt discomfort in his shoulder and went in for an MRI that revealed that he had shoulder tendinitis.
Voth’s injury seems small but it’s a significant blow to the Nationals rotation as they have struggled to find a permanent fifth starter since Jeremy Hellickson was placed on the 10-day IL in late May with shoulder tendinitis as his own.
The Nationals have run out Voth, Erick Fedde and recently Joe Ross to compete for the fifth starting role. Neither of those three able to claim the role so Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has rotated them between the minor leagues and the Major League roster.
Voth has started four games for the Nationals since late June but was recently scratched from his most recent start last Sunday in Atlanta where Joe Ross took his place. In those four games Voth has pitched to a 4.35 ERA which isn’t great but it’s a decent job for a back-of-the-rotation guy. In his four starts, Voth hasn’t allowed more than four runs in any of his starts but has yet to work into the seventh inning.
We’ve seen Voth have an uptick in velocity on his fastball which sits around 95 MPH compared to the 92-93 MPH Nationals fans saw in his four appearances in 2018. Voth has also learned to control his pitches better than he did last season walking only 2.6 per nine compared to the 4.4 walks per nine he was averaging last season.
The Nationals will likely have a mix between Fedde and Ross as they battle it out for the back-of-the-rotation spot. With Voth now out for an extended period of time, the Nationals could look to acquire a rotation piece along with a bullpen arm at the trade deadline at the end of the month.