Soto, however, was not in the lineup for Washington’s home game against the Atlanta Braves. Manager Davey Martinez said he will be available as a pinch hitter if the right situation appears.
That said, Martinez does indeed want to take it slow with Soto, who sat out with a strained left shoulder. The manager said he is not yet “game-ready to throw,” and he hasn’t yet attempted to throw to any bases.
From an offensive standpoint, Martinez is comfortable with what he sees, and in addition to any spot pinch-hitting duties this week, there’s a chance Soto could be used as a designated hitter in an American League ballpark this weekend, when the Nationals meet the Yankees.
Soto, 22, was originally in the Nationals’ lineup April 19 against St. Louis, but the Nationals tweeted the IL move about an hour before the game began.
“He was dealing with it over the last few days. A tight tricep,” Martinez said at the time. “[An] MRI came back showing a slight strain in his left shoulder.”
Outfielder Yadiel Hernandez was recalled from the team’s alternate site to replace Soto on the roster last month.
Soto is hitting .300 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 14 games this season.