Astros, Nationals place two Cubans on IL

The Houston Astros and Washington Nationals got off to rough starts this weekend. Now, they each have yet another player on the IL.

Yesterday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported that the Houston Astros utilityman Aledmys Diaz would be placed on the IL due to a groin strain between grades 1 and 2.

Last season the native of Villa Clara, Cuba was a valuable piece in the team’s lineup and was a jack of all trades. Not only did he play many positions but he also swung a decent lumber. In 69 games last year he posted a line of 271/.356/.467. In 247 at-bats he also slugged nine home runs and drove in 40 runs.

During the preseason Díaz led the team with seven runs knocked in. He opened up the season as the team’s DH and went 1-2 with a run scored.

The Houston handyman is expected to miss a significant amount of time and will be replaced by a combination of Abraham Toro, Kyle Tucker, and Taylor Jones in the lineup.

On the other hand, Washington Nationals lefty Roenis Elías is expected to miss if not all but a large part of the season after being placed on the 60-day IL by the World Champs.

Elías felt discomfort when throwing yesterday and was given an MRI which revealed an injury to the flexor muscle in his left elbow.

Since he was acquired by the team at the trade deadline last season, injuries have derailed him.

Last year a hamstring injury kept the Guantánamo, Cuba native from seeing action in the World Series.

Last season Seattle and before his trade to Washington he had made the transition to closer and saved 14 games for the Mariners. The Nationals were counting on him to either be their closers or have a major role in the relief corps.

Due to the rules, he must spend at least 45 days on the injury list before he is eligible to return to action and that might cost the entirety of the season.

Is Elías snake bit in Washington or will he finally become the integral part of the bullpen Washing envisioned when they acquired him? That remains to be seen.