Slowly but surely, the Washington Nationals are becoming whole again.
The team reinstated five players today who had been sidelined since Opening Day by the team’s COVID outbreak. The marquee names among that group are closer Brad Hand and starting pitcher Patrick Corbin.
Hand, a top-10 fantasy baseball closer in the preseason, is available out of Washington’s bullpen for today’s game versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. Corbin doesn’t have a firm debut date, but Nationals manager Davey Martinez has left the door open for him to pitch Saturday.
Patrick Corbin has also flown to L.A. and has been cleared to return, but he's not active yet. Davey Martinez says he wants to "get eyes on him," but it's possible he could start tomorrow.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) April 9, 2021
If Corbin does get the ball tomorrow, he would go up against Dodgers promising left-hander Julio Urias. Even without Cody Bellinger and perhaps Mookie Betts, it would not be a great matchup for Corbin, who would likely be on a strict, low pitch count.
There shouldn’t be any such restraints on Hand; he should slot in as Washington’s closer immediately. The three-time All-Star signed a one-year deal with Washington back in January. He led MLB with 16 saves during the 2020 season.