The Washington Nationals are struggling with depth right now as a result of several injuries. There is little that can be done to prevent players from suffering injuries in practice or during a game. However, self-inflicted injuries like the one Nationals reliever Ryan Mattheus suffered on Sunday can easily be avoided.
According to the Washington Post, the Nats’ setup man broke his hand when he punched a locker after giving up five earned runs in one inning against the San Diego Padres. Mattheus’ hand reportedly did not swell up initially so he did not reveal the injury to the team. On Monday, pain and swelling forced him to come clean.
“I was pretty upset, and I let my emotions get the best of me,” he said. “I hit my locker, and unfortunately I injured myself. It’s pretty embarrassing. It’s a tough one to swallow. I feel like I let the other 25 guys down on this team. I let the whole Washington Nationals organization down doing something stupid.”
Washington starting pitcher Ross Detwiler came out of the game with an injury on Monday, which forced manager Davey Johnson to use long relievers Zach Duke and Craig Stammen in his place. Since Mattheus kept his injury a secret until Monday, the team was unable to call someone up before the game to replace him, leaving them with a depleted bullpen.
“It was tough losing Mattheus,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, he didn’t tell anybody that he broke his hand the night before. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to have anybody here to help us out. He felt real bad about it, but I wish he had said something about what he did.”
“That’s what’s so embarrassing about it,” he said. “It’s absolutely something I can control. It’s not like I hurt myself out on the field. I got to do a better job of that.”
Moral of the story: don’t hide your injuries. I’m sure Mattheus was hoping his hand was fine and he wouldn’t have to tell the team that he hurt it by punching a metal locker, but it ended up costing the team even more than it had to.
H/T SI Hot Clicks