Friend of the blog Brent Sower, or as some of you may know him, @thebrowncoat, had an interesting evening when he visited Metro Bank Park to watch the Harrisburg Senators. Notable events on the night included potential future Nationals reliever Henry Rodriguez getting the surprise start and top prospect Derek Norris leaving the game in the first inning with what appeared to be an injury.
“Erik Davis was the scheduled starter, but with rain threatening, Henry Rodriguez got the start in Harrisburg on my first trip to Metro Bank Park. My guess is the Nats wanted to see him work an inning no matter what happened with the weather tonight. He gave up a leadoff double and a steal of third (he looked slow to the plate to me, even working from the stretch), but struck out 2 of the next 3. Hit 97 on the radar a couple of times.
Derek Norris was injured in the bottom of the 1st. It was pouring and Norris hit a groundball to short – he appeared to step awkwardly on the base at first and it looked like he sprained or twisted his right ankle. He was hobbling/limping badly and left the game. He was safe at first when the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag, but was replaced by a pinch runner.”
News that Derek Norris had to leave the game is certainly scary but we should wait until we get further reports from the team before we jump to any conclusions. Ankle injuries are hard to gauge from sight. All players will react differently and it won’t necessarily mean anything in terms of the severity of the injury. Some players will scream in pain and roll around in shock only to find out later that it’s not that bad. Some will stay in the game and then end up missing three weeks.
Nevertheless, anytime you’re second best prospect has even a slight injury it’s a bit worrisome. We all are waiting patiently for Norris to develop into a potential middle of the order bat in the majors, but injuries derailed his development last year and lord knows no one wants that again. We’ll all be waiting patiently to hear the official word out of Harrisburg on his status, and certainly hope for the best.
In a coaching note, It was a smart move by the Senators to have Rodriguez pitch first. The Nats are hoping to get him back up to the majors in order to add another hard throwing bullpen option to go alongside Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, and Sean Burnett, but he still needs some seasoning after starting spring training late. The move to give him the start allowed him to get an inning in before the rain, so kudos to the coaching staff up in Harrisburg.
In his one inning of work, Rodriguez allowed one hit and struck out two batters.