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Victor Robles Suffers Left Hamstring Injury

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Nationals center fielder Victor Robles injured his left hamstring during Wednesday night’s game against the Pirates. He suffered the injury running from first to third on a single in the bottom of the second inning. The former top prospect was making just his second start of the 2024 campaign. After the game, manager Dave Martinez told reporters (including Mark Zuckerman of MASN) that Robles would go for an MRI on Thursday.

For what it’s worth, Robles, 26, has suffered hamstring injuries in the past, few of which kept him off the field for long. He dealt with hamstring tightness this spring (per Andrew Golden of the Washington Post), a left hamstring cramp last summer (h/t Zuckerman), left hamstring tightness in May 2021 (h/t Zuckerman), a mild right hamstring strain in October 2019 (h/t Zuckerman), and “hamstring trouble” in April 2017 (per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post). Only the two earliest instances kept him off the field for more than a game or two.

That said, the Nationals might want to play it safe with Robles, who missed most of the 2023 season with back trouble. What’s more, his speed and outfield range are some of his strongest tools, and surely Washington wants to keep his legs as healthy as possible. Martinez didn’t offer much optimism after the game, telling reporters “I don’t want to assume anything, but [Robles] said he felt it pretty good” (per Nusbaum).

If Robles misses the time, the Nationals can bring up one of Alex Call or Jacob Young, both of whom are on the 40-man roster. Call, 29, has more big league experience, including his 77 starts in center field last season for Washington. Young, 24, started only 32 games in center during his rookie season in 2023, but he took the starting job from Call down the stretch, hitting slightly better and providing extra value on the bases with his 98th-percentile sprint speed. However, Call is coming off a much stronger spring. He posted a 1.099 OPS in 21 games, while Young produced a meager .673 OPS in 20 contests.

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