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Brad Hand, Patrick Corbin cleared to rejoin Nationals

Players who were sidelined by the Nats’ COVID-19 outbreak are making their way back for Washington.

Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Slowly but surely, the Washington Nationals are becoming whole again.

The team reinstated five players today who had been sidelined since Opening Day by the team’s COVID outbreak. The marquee names among that group are closer Brad Hand and starting pitcher Patrick Corbin.

Hand, a top-10 fantasy baseball closer in the preseason, is available out of Washington’s bullpen for today’s game versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. Corbin doesn’t have a firm debut date, but Nationals manager Davey Martinez has left the door open for him to pitch Saturday.

If Corbin does get the ball tomorrow, he would go up against Dodgers promising left-hander Julio Urias. Even without Cody Bellinger and perhaps Mookie Betts, it would not be a great matchup for Corbin, who would likely be on a strict, low pitch count.

There shouldn’t be any such restraints on Hand; he should slot in as Washington’s closer immediately. The three-time All-Star signed a one-year deal with Washington back in January. He led MLB with 16 saves during the 2020 season.