With left-hander CC Sabathia on the mound for the New York Yankees last night, Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez went with an outfield of Adam Eaton, Michael A. Taylor, and Bryce Harper, left to right for Washington.
Martinez was asked before the game if that was likely to be the mix when a left-hander was on the mound for the opposition, with Michael A. Taylor out there instead of three lefties in Juan Soto, who sat last night, Eaton, and Harper.
“We’ll have to look at all the matchups and look at different numbers,” the first-year skipper said.
“I want Michael out there as much as possible,” Martinez explained. “I do. Like I said, to me he’s a Gold Glover, and he’s actually playing really well, but with that being said, we have some pretty special outfielders all the way around, so they all have to get a chance to play.
“Soto has been up here and has done an incredible job, and I thought today was a good day to give him a day off. He gets two days. He hasn’t had one yet, so he gets two days off, so he comes back and he feels fresh, and I want to keep them all fresh.
“Same thing with Adam. I told him that when he came back. ‘I want to keep you healthy and I want to keep you fresh.’ We’re getting into the middle of the summer, where, as you know, back at home it gets really hot, so days off are not bad for any of these guys.”
Soto, who’s back in the lineup tonight, has actually hit lefties and righties well on his way up and in the majors, with a .360/.467/.800 line, two doubles, and all three of his home runs so far in 30 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, and a .306/.405/.361 line with two of his doubles off of righties early in his major league career.
Soto will get a chance to play on a big stage in New York tonight, with right-hander Sonny Gray on the hill for the Yankees.