ATLANTA — Chad Tracy’s groin wasn’t feeling all that much better on Sunday and the Nationals’ bench player will head to Philadelphia on Tuesday to visit with Dr. Bill Meyers and get an MRI taken.
The Nationals have not yet decided if they will put him on the disabled list but Tracy’s said on Sunday that he felt did not simply break up scar tissue from an offseason surgery, instead acquiring a new injury in the area. If Tracy does require a DL stint, the Nationals could easily call-up Corey Brown to assume his spot on the roster.
“My gut is, it’s not the scar tissue because it’s a different spot than the surgery,” Tracy said. “I think it’s two separate injuries.”
Meyers operated on Tracy this past November to repair a double sports hernia. The Nationals’ first inclination on Saturday was that Tracy might have been breaking up scar tissue from that issue. They will know more after the MRI.
“I’m just going to keep icing and treating it, see what happens,” Tracy said.
Tracy, who made the Nationals’ 25-man roster on the spring’s final day, has been the most productive pinch hitter in the major leagues this season, his nine RBI off the bench leading all of MLB. Manager Davey Johnson called him a “weapon” he didn’t want to lose for longer than he had too, and has talked often this season about the advantage he feels having Tracy on the bench for the late innings.
Brown, who is not injured but has been out of the lineup the past two games (both played after Tracy got hurt), is all but certain to be the call-up if Tracy requires DL time.
He’s been on a tear this season at Triple-A, after a sub-par 2011, hitting .297 with 12 home runs. Before he was missing from Syracuse’s lineup on Saturday, Brown had homered in five straight games (a Chiefs record) and had reached base safely in 14 straight.
The Nationals were high on Brown after his showing in major league spring training and his performance in the International League has done nothing to dissuade them from those feelings. When the team sent Brown to minor league camp this spring, Johnson went so far as to say “if he keeps doing the things I think he’s capable of doing right on into the season, we don’t have to look for a (long-term) center fielder.”