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Washington Nationals reinstate Brad Hand, three others from IL

Mar 1, 2021; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Washington Nationals Brad Hand #52 poses during media day at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: MLB photos via USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals reinstated left-handed reliever Brad Hand and three others from the injured list prior to Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Washington also removed catchers Alex Avila and Yan Gomes and infielder Jordy Mercer from the IL. All four players were placed on the list in the midst of the club’s recent COVID-19 issues.

Left-hander Patrick Corbin wasn’t removed from the list but threw off flat ground Friday. He is slated to be activated when he is ready to start a game.

All five players flew to Los Angeles on Friday after being cleared by Major League Baseball on Thursday night.

“I appreciate the fact they all wanted to be here as soon as possible,” Washington manager Dave Martinez told reporters before Friday’s game. “But we’ve got to be smart. They just flew across the country. We want to make sure they’re hydrated and get a little rested. They’re all available maybe later on to play if need be, but to start them, for me, wouldn’t be a good idea.”

Four players remain on the IL due to not yet clearing protocol — left-hander Jon Lester, first baseman Josh Bell, infielder Josh Harrison and outfielder Kyle Schwarber.

Martinez said the quartet “feel fine” and are working out at home.

To open roster spots, Washington optioned right-hander Ryan Harper and catcher Tres Barrera to the taxi squad, and optioned infielder Carter Kieboom and outfielder Cody Wilson to the alternate training site.

Also, the Nationals placed outfielder Gerardo Parra, infielder Adrian Sanchez and left-hander T.J. McFarland on the taxi squad.

Read More: Washington Nationals put 10 players on IL before opener

–Field Level Media