With the designated hitter’s spot available in New York and Toronto, Washington’s Nationals have had the luxury of working Daniel Murphy back in slowly, and Adam Eaton, who was all over the basepaths as the Nats split their two-game set with the Yankees, is looking like he’s getting back in the swing of things as well, which Davey Martinez said is already making an impact on the lineup, and opposing pitchers.
Martinez said he likes what he’s seen from Murphy, who’s 0 for 7 with a walk and three Ks so far.
“I think he’s getting more comfortable and the more he plays, the more comfortable he’s going to get,” Martinez said.
“He worked some good at bats today, I know he lined out his first at bat, we’re glad to have him back, he’s a big part of our lineup, he works good at bats.
“The last two days since [Murphy] and Adam Eaton have been playing, we’ve seen a lot more pitches, which is good, we were able to knock CC [Sabathia] out early and also Sonny [Gray], and they have a lot to do with that, they see a lot of pitches, so that’s good to see.”
Also good to see on Wednesday, were Juan Soto’s two home runs, a high fly ball to left field, (his first off a right-hander), and a 436-foot shot to right-center that ended up being a game winner.
Soto’s 22 for 64 so far in the majors, .344/.447/.641, with four doubles, five home runs, 12 walks, and 11 Ks in 20 games.
So are opposing pitchers already starting to make adjustments to the 19-year-old phenom?
“They have,” Martinez said. “And like I said, he understand the game, he understands his at bats, and he’ll swing at a bad pitch and then he’ll lay off the next one and he’s been doing that all year. He’s not afraid to take his walks. He’ll take his walks when he needs to, and he’s learning. He’s learning every day.”
Murphy, Eaton, and Soto are all back in there tonight as the Nationals take on the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre.