The Nationals did not disclose how long Garrett will be sidelined but announced Thursday that he has a fractured left fibula. Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Garrett was meeting with lead physician Robert Najarian and getting further tests, including an MRI, to determine if there’s any other damage.
“He’s going to be out a while,” Martinez said Thursday. “We’re going to wish him a fast recovery, and hopefully that leg heals up and he’ll be ready to play for us in the future.”
In a corresponding move, Washington recalled infielder Jeter Downs from Triple-A Rochester before Thursday’s series finale at Yankee Stadium.
Garrett leaped at the wall and appeared to catch a spike from his left cleat in the wall’s padding as the ball went over Yankee Stadium’s short right-field porch. He was prone on his back for six minutes as trainers from both teams attached an air cast and his Nationals teammates gathered.
“You never want to see anybody get hurt,” Martinez said Wednesday after Washington’s 9-1 loss. “When he went down like that, my heart dropped.”
Garrett was helped to his feet and moved to a cart, then was taken off the field to an ovation.
“I think it’s tough,” said Washington’s Lane Thomas, who moved over from center field to right field when Garrett exited. “Just a little emotional for him. Seeing somebody that that happens to is not fun either.”
Garrett, 27, is batting .269 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 89 games this season, his first with the Nationals. He has been particularly productive against left-handed pitchers, hitting seven homers with an .839 OPS in 122 at-bats against southpaws, and he was heating up of late with a .378 batting average over his past 11 games.
“His at-bats have been good, but he’s been playing defense really well,” Martinez said. “It stinks for us because he is one of our every-day players out there who is having a really good year.”
Martinez also praised Garrett as a clubhouse leader and fan favorite.
“He means a lot to us,” Martinez said. “He just has that presence about himself. Very soft-spoken, but he’s one of the guys who liked to have fun, keep everyone loose. A great teammate.”
Garrett made his minor league debut in 2014 and played in Australia and Mexico before making his major league debut with the Diamondbacks on Aug. 17 last year. He hit .276 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 27 games for the Diamondbacks, elected to become a free agent and signed with the Nationals.
“He’s a guy that worked his way to get to the major leagues,” Martinez said. “I’m always partial to those guys that put the work in, that worked really hard to become who he is, and really tries to get better. I challenged him early on to be a better outfielder. He’s done it. I challenged him to put the ball in play more. He’s done that and driving in more runs. Everything I’ve asked him to do, he went out of his way to try and do.”
Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.