The Nationals announced a series of roster moves as they continue to bring players back from the COVID-19 list. Josh Bell, Kyle Schwarber and Josh Harrison are all back from COVID protocols and are active for Monday night’s game. Infielder Luis Garcia and outfielder Yadiel Hernandez were optioned to the alternate training site but will remain on the Nats’ taxi squad, while left-hander T.J. McFarland and righty Ryne Harper were sent to the alternate site. In addition, catcher Jonathan Lucroy was designated for assignment.
Jon Lester is the only player still on the COVID-related injury list, as the Nationals have just about all of their roster back following the coronavirus outbreak that forced Washington to postpone its first four games of the season. Washington hasn’t yet announced its lineup for Monday night’s game with the Cardinals, but it’s probably safe to assume that at least one of Bell, Schwarber or Harrison will be able to play, since the Nationals would otherwise be rather shorthanded.
Lucroy was signed to a minor-league deal on April 3 and he ended up appearing in five games with Washington (hitting .357/.357/.429 in 14 plate appearances). The Nationals added Lucroy since their catching corps were also depleted by the COVID-19 outbreak, and the veteran could now potentially head elsewhere with at least a decent five-game audition under his belt for a future suitor. As noted by MASNsports.com’s Mark Zuckerman and other writers, Lucroy is very close to achieving 10 full years of major-league service time, and will continue to accumulate service days while designated.