Doolittle was diagnosed with an oblique strain and placed on the 10-day injured list Friday, Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic reports.
Doolittle doesn't have a precise timeline for his return, but with just 16 days left in the regular season, his chances of returning before the end of the campaign appear slim. The former closer didn't record a single save this season and struggled to a 5.87 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP in 7.2 innings of work.
Doolittle exited Thursday's game against Atlanta after suffering a right oblique injury in the ninth inning, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Doolittle entered to start the ninth, but exited after retiring Nick Markakis for the first out. The southpaw appeared to be motioning toward his oblique area as he called for trainers to come check on him. Manager Dave Martinez confirmed after the contest that it is indeed an oblique issue and that Doolittle will undergo further examination before the extent of the injury is determined. It will be unfortunate timing should the reliever be forced to miss an extended period, as he has tallied six consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run since returning from a knee injury Aug. 26.
Doolittle struck out two in a perfect eighth inning during Monday's loss to the Phillies.
The southpaw entered the game with the Nats down 8-4, and he was able to get Didi Gregorius and Jay Bruce to swing through fastballs for his first two punchouts since coming off the injured list last week. It's been a tough season for Doolittle, and while the results Monday were encouraging, his heater topped out at 91.1 mph -- well below last year's 93.5 mph average. Unless he proves he can consistently get outs with reduced velocity, the 33-year-old is unlikely to work his way back into a share of the closer role.
Doolittle (knee) was activated from the injured list Wednesday, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
Doolittle has been cleared to rejoin the Nationals after spending around two weeks on the shelf with right knee inflammation. The southpaw struggled before landing on the injured list, so he'll likely be eased back into a setup role. Carter Kieboom was sent to Washington's satellite camp in a corresponding move.
Doolittle (knee) threw 24 pitches in a simulated game Friday at the Nationals' alternate training site, Jessica Camerato of MLB.com reports.
According to manager Dave Martinez, the southpaw "felt pretty good" afterwards. Doolittle is making progress, but there's still no timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Manager Dave Martinez said Doolittle (knee) could face live hitters Friday, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Doolittle has been sidelined for a little more than a week with right knee inflammation, but he felt alright during a 20-pitch throwing session Wednesday and could ramp things up this weekend if he checks out OK in the coming days. A possible return date for the right-hander should emerge after Friday's session against live hitters.
Doolittle is dealing with some inflammation in his right knee, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Doolittle was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday, and manager Dave Martinez later revealed that the lefty is experiencing some inflammation. It's unclear how long Doolittle will be sidelined as a result. He's displayed decreased fastball velocity over his first several appearances, and the injury could have played a role in the downturn in production.
The Nationals placed Doolittle on the 10-day injured list Thursday with right knee fatigue, Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic reports.
Expected to challenge Daniel Hudson for the closer's role in the abbreviated season, Doolittle hasn't been able to reclaim his old post while giving up at least one run in all but one of his five appearances on the campaign. The lefty's fastball velocity has been down a few ticks this season, but it's unclear if his struggles are simply age-related or a byproduct of overcompensating for the sore knee. The Nationals are hoping it's the latter, as Doolittle will now be sidelined for at least the next week and a half before the team revisits bringing him back onto the 28-man active roster. Seth Romero was called up from the Nationals' taxi squad in a corresponding move.
Doolittle (0-1) allowed one run on two hits and a walk over 0.2 innings Sunday to take the loss as the Nationals fell 3-2 to the Yankees. He struck out one.
The southpaw entered the game in a non-save situation to begin the eighth inning with the score tied 2-2, but he wasn't able to shut down the Yankees' offense. Doolittle was expected to share closing duties with Daniel Hudson this season, but given that Hudson was manager Dave Martinez's first choice in the ninth during the club's World Series run last year, Doolittle's usage here should be a little concerning to those fantasy GMs counting on him for saves.
Doolittle said Sunday he thinks he's "planning on playing" in 2020, but if he starts "to feel unsafe" or it begins to impact his mental health, he may opt out of the season, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Numerous players have expressed their concerns after reporting to summer training this week, so Doolittle is hardly alone in his cautious approach. The veteran left-hander is poised to operate out of the ninth inning again in 2020, though he could end up splitting closer's duties with Daniel Hudson. Regardless, Doolittle will be filling a high-leverage role for the Nationals if he's on the field.
Doolittle will make his first appearance of the spring Sunday, Jessica Camerato of MLB.com reports.
The club has held the somewhat injury-prone southpaw back to begin camp, but Doolittle is ready to begin his Grapefruit League campaign in earnest. While he may end up splitting closer duties with Daniel Hudson, Doolittle will be firmly in the ninth-inning mix after racking up more than 20 saves each of the last four seasons.
Doolittle has no timetable for his Grapefruit League debut as the Nationals carefully monitor his spring workload, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
The left-hander's knee is the biggest concern -- it was a sore knee that produced the mechanical bad habits that led to his IL stint due to arm trouble last season -- and while Doolittle is fully healthy to begin the spring, the Nats want to keep it that way. The 60 innings he threw in 2019 was his largest total since 2014, but the 33-year-old will have Daniel Hudson and Will Harris around to take some late-inning work off his shoulders this year, even if Doolittle keeps his spot as the team's primary closer.
The Nationals will pick up Doolittle's $6.5 million club option for 2020, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports.
Washington featured the worst bullpen in the majors during 2019, but Doolittle was called upon early and often throughout the season. The 33-year-old had a 4.05 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 66:15 K:BB over 60 innings while converting 29 of 35 save opportunities, while the heavy usage early in the season likely contributed to a decline in his numbers in the second half. Daniel Hudson finished the season as the Nationals' top option at closer, but Doolittle should be the favorite for the role entering 2020 with Hudson heading for free agency.
Doolittle allowed one hit and struck out the side during the ninth in a save against the Phillies on Wednesday.
He already has a career high in saves, and he's one away from reaching the 30-save plateau for the first time in his career. However, Doolittle's other numbers aren't up to his normal standards. He is 6-5 with 29 saves, 3.97 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 66 strikeouts in 59 innings this season.
Doolittle pitched a perfect inning in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Phillies in the first game of a doubleheader, retiring all three batters without a strikeout.
The southpaw entered the game in the top of the eighth inning with the Nationals up 3-1, and he induced a foulout, a groundout and a flyout in 15 pitches to retire the side. Doolittle has now made seven appearances -- all in non-save situations -- in September, allowing just one run and one hit in six innings. Daniel Hudson has three saves this month, though manager Dave Martinez just said earlier Tuesday that he still views Doolittle as his closer.
Manager Dave Martinez confirmed Tuesday that Doolittle remains his closer, Byron Kerr of MASN Sports reports.
Doolittle has no saves in the month of September, while Daniel Hudson has recorded a pair. Doolittle is still working his way back from a knee injury but hasn't been bad over the course of the month, allowing just one run and one hit in five innings while posting a 4:2 K:BB. Martinez did add that he's not afraid to use Doolittle in the eighth inning, however, so there's no guarantee that the next save opportunity will be his.
Doolittle (6-5) took the loss Monday as the Nationals dropped a 4-2 decision to the Cardinals, getting charged with one run after walking one batter and striking out two in two-thirds of an inning.
The southpaw entered the game in the top of the seventh inning with the score tied 2-2, and Doolittle's free pass came around to score after his replacement, Hunter Strickland, served up a double to Marcell Ozuna. Doolittle has yet to record a save in September, but neither has any other Nats reliever, so it's not yet clear if he would once again be the preferred option at closer over Daniel Hudson should a save situation arise.
Doolittle (knee) was activated off the 10-day injured list Sunday.
Doolittle made one rehab appearance with High-A Potomac on Friday to clear the way for his return to the Nationals. The southpaw has converted 28 of 34 save chances with a 4.33 ERA and 1.40 WHIP this season and should return to the closer's role eventually, but according to Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports, Doolittle will first be eased back into things in some lower-leverage spots.
Doolittle (knee) is expected to come off the injured list Sunday, Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic reports.
The lefty breezed through a rehab appearance with High-A Potomac on Friday, retiring the side on three pitches (flyout, groundout, flyout), and it sounds like he will be activated right away when rosters expand. Doolittle had struggled before landing on the IL, allowing five homers and blowing two saves over his last five appearances, but he will almost certainly return to the closer role for the stretch run. Perhaps the Nats will ease him back in with one or two lower-leverage appearances before reinstalling Doolittle in the ninth.
Doolittle (knee) said he expects to join High-A Potomac for a rehab appearance Friday, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
Doolittle completed a 16-pitch, one-inning simulated game Wednesday and feels good physically, but he wants to improve his sharpness before rejoining the Nationals. The veteran left-hander may only require a game or two in the minors, so it shouldn't delay his return to the majors for long.
|Last 7 Games|
|09/10||vs ATL||L 6-7||0||0||0||0.1||0||0||0||0|
|09/08||vs TB||W 5-3||0||0||0||1.0||0||0||0||2|
|09/05||@ ATL||W 10-4||0||0||0||1.0||0||0||0||0|
|09/03||@ PHI||L 5-6||0||1||0||0.2||0||0||2||0|
|08/31||@ PHI||L 6-8||0||0||0||1.0||0||0||0||2|
|08/30||@ BOS||L 5-9||0||0||0||0.2||2||0||0||0|
|08/10||@ NYM||W 16-4||0||0||0||1.0||1||1||0||0|
|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2012||AAA-Sacramento River Cat||3.2||2||0||0||0||0||0||8||1||1||0.00||0.625|