Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez was asked after this past Friday’s trade that sent Gio Gonzalez to Milwaukee how they would fill the lefty’s spot in the rotation the next time it came around.
“We know we’ve got [Erick] Fedde coming back and Joe Ross will be back here soon,” the manager explained. “So we’re going to sit down tonight and figure out who’s going to fit in that spot next time around.”
Fedde (right shoulder) and Ross (Tommy John) are both returning from injuries, of course, so they’ll be handled carefully over the last month of the season, Martinez said.
“The thing about it is, especially with Fedde and Joe,” Martinez said on Sunday, “... they’re coming off the Disabled List, is just making sure that they’re healthy and they continue to progress and not go backwards.”
“I talked to Fedde a lot about his mechanics as well because he’s been hurt quite a bit,” he continued “... so we’re trying to clean up his mechanics a little bit so he doesn’t end up on the DL and he can pitch a whole year and same thing with Joe, just get him back, get him healthy and looking forward to watching him pitch when he does come back.”
Fedde talked after his first rehab start about some of the changes he has made to be more consistent with his delivery and avoid a repeat of what landed him on the DL in early July.
“I guess maybe my mechanics weren’t consistent enough,” Fedde acknowledged. “Getting up here and maybe just trying be something special and overthrowing for a month straight just really wore on me. But it’s a learning experience too, and hopefully I don’t have to deal with this again.”
“They said that a big factor was just fatigue in general, but just staying more consistent,” he explained, “keeping myself in a good position at all times just to hopefully stay on the field.”
Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo talked to 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies this week about the team’s plans for top outfield prospect Victor Robles, who hyperextended his left elbow on a play in the outfield early this season, but worked his way back and was due to return to the majors once rosters expanded and the Triple-A season ended (which it did on Monday).
“We just want him to catch up and get as many everyday at bats as he can while he is in Triple-A and when we bring him up we’d certainly like to see him play in the big leagues,” Rizzo said.
“We plan on calling up Robles, and I want to see him play,” Martinez told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman before Monday’s series opener with the St. Louis Cardinals.
“I want to see him play up here.”
As for Ross, who underwent Tommy John surgery in July of 2017, the 25-year-old right-hander has made six rehab starts already, though how he’ll be used in the majors now remains unclear.
“We’re actually going to sit down after we talk and have a game plan and see what we are going to do here with him,” Martinez said.
“There is a good chance he might start. We don’t know that yet.”
In addition to Fedde, Robles, and Ross, the Nationals are expected to call up reliever Kyle McGowin, acquired along with Austin Adams in the deal that sent Danny Espinosa to the Los Angeles Angels, starter Austin Voth, who made his MLB debut earlier this season, and infielder Adrian Sanchez.