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The Washington Nationals had utility player Nick Senzel penciled in as a starter for the season opener. But the projected starting third baseman’s debut with Washington was put on hold after Senzel fractured his right thumb during pregame warmups.

Senzel was fielding ground balls during batting practice when he injured his thumb. Senzel did make an appearance on the field shortly after the game against the Cincinnati Reds. 

The game also marked Senzel’s return to face the team he played for the first five seasons of his MLB career.

Senzel inked a one-year contract with the Nationals in the offseason.

Senzel hit a career-best 13 home runs last season with 42 RBIs.


Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Senzel’s injury “stung.”

“The blow right before our game today really stung,” Martinez said after the game. “That was kind of a bad situation. He took a bad hop during BP.”

Nick Senzel bats during a game

While Senzel’s teammates were being announced to the crowd, he was somewhere near the visitors’ clubhouse undergoing X-rays.

“It’s awful,” Martinez added. “He was in a good spot, and we were in a good spot with him. He was excited for today, and just a freak accident. We’re going to miss him, but he’s going to work really hard to get back as soon as possible.”

The Reds defeated the Nationals in Thursday’s season opener. Both teams are off Friday and resume the three-game series Saturday.

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