MLB: Nationals 3B Nick Senzel (thumb) injured prior to game

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Washington Nationals third baseman Nick Senzel fractured his right thumb prior to Thursday’s season-opening game and will miss approximately three to four weeks.

Senzel, 28, sustained the injury while fielding grounders during batting practice prior to the game against the host Cincinnati Reds. One grounder struck his right thumb and X-rays confirmed the break.

It was a cruel break for Senzel, who was returning to Cincinnati to face his former team after spending five seasons with the Reds. He was the club’s No. 2 overall draft selection in 2016.

“It’s awful,” Washington manager Davey Martinez said after his team’s 8-2 loss. “He was in a good spot, and we were in a good spot with him. He was excited for today. And then just a freak accident.”

Ildemaro Vargas was the last-minute starter in place of Senzel and went 1-for-3.

The Nationals could promote prospect Trey Lipscomb to play third base. Lipscomb, 23, batted .400 in 50 at-bats this spring before being one of the team’s final cuts. He was a third-round pick in 2022.

Senzel, batted .239 with 33 homers and 125 RBIs in 377 games over five seasons for Cincinnati. Last season, Senzel batted .236 with a career-best 13 homers in 104 games. He matched his career-high of 42 RBIs but slugged just .399.

The Nationals and Reds resume their three-game series on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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