The Nationals waited until the last possible moment before today’s game to make a final decision on catcher Yan Gomes, who left yesterday’s game with an apparent oblique injury. They did, however, ultimately place him on the 10-day injured list with an oblique strain, per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post (via Twitter). In corresponding moves, reliever Kyle Lobstein has been designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for catcher Jakson Reetz, who will have his contract selected as he is added to the active roster.
It’s quite the whirlwind for Reetz, who spent just three days in Triple-A, backfilling for Tres Barrera, who was promoted to the bigs after last week’s Alex Avila injury. Reetz has yet to record his first hit at the Triple-A level, but he’s up on the Major League roster anyhow, presumably backing up Barrera. Reetz hit .233/.357/.383 in 143 plate appearances with the Double-A Senators in his first action above High-A ball.
The Nationals are already relatively short-handed in the bullpen, but the sudden rash of injuries to their catching corps forces them to expose Lobstein to waivers nonetheless. Washington lost T.J. McFarland to the Cardinals when Lobstein was added to the 40-man roster last week, and the Cardinals proceeded to snipe right-hander Justin Miller a couple days after that. Lobstein doesn’t have the track record of either McFarland or Miller, but the 31-year-old southpaw could very well find himself with a new organization by the end of the week. He was hit hard in three appearances for the Nats, his first Major League action since appearing in 34 games (17 starts) for the Tigers and Pirates from 2014 to 2016. He has a 5.06 ERA/4.39 FIP over 128 career innings.
Gomes, of course, is the headliner here. The 33-year-old Brazilian backstop has been a steady presence for the Nationals since they acquired him from the Indians prior to the 2019 season. Not only did he help steer the ship in their championship season — playing every inning of the final four games of the World Series after Kurt Suzuki was injured — but he has taken on an increased load in his age-33 season, starting 68 percent of their games behind the plate this year. In his two prior seasons in Washington, Gomes handled 57 percent of the catching workload.
He’s helped carry the load offensively as well. Gomes is slashing .266/.320/.439 with eight home runs in 231 plate appearances. That’s good for 102 wRC+, an above-average mark for any position, but well above the catchers’ average of 89 wRC+.