Washington Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez told reporters, before Game 2 of the NLCS on Saturday afternoon, that Victor Robles, who injured his right hamstring in Game 2 of the NLDS, was still not 100% healthy, so he was going with Michael A. Taylor in center again while Robles’s hamstring continues to heal.
“For me, it’s just about Victor’s health and getting him healthy,” Martinez said. “I don’t want him to come back and just play one game and get hurt. I want him to come back and play multiple games.”
Taylor, 28, is 6 for 20 with a home run, walk, and seven Ks in 22 plate appearances over five starts and seven games played overall this October, with the home run accounting for one of the three runs the Nationals scored in their 3-1 win in Game 2, so, Martinez said, he’s not going to rush Robles back with Taylor filling in admirably.
“Michael’s doing fine,” the manager said this weekend. “For me, yesterday he had good at-bats, he did. He didn’t get a hit but he battled, put a ball in play with [a 3-2 count] and that’s all you can ask for. But his defense, as we all know, we don’t miss much on defense with him out there.”
Taylor did, of course, misread a liner to center late in Saturday’s win, but he has performed admirably in the absence of Robles.
Martinez was asked for an update on the Nationals’ 22-year-old outfielder again when he spoke with reporters on Sunday afternoon, in advance of Game 3 of the NLCS.
“We’re going to run him a little bit today,” Martinez explained.
“[Robles has] to get some treatment, and then we’ll say tomorrow he’ll participate in BP and do a little bit more running, and we’ll see where we’re at tomorrow.
“I’m not going to anticipate anything until he comes in tomorrow, but he’s progressing, and hopefully he’ll be ready tomorrow.”
And considering how Taylor has played, what will happen when Robles is ready to return?
Will he slot back in as the starting center fielder? Will Martinez stick with Taylor for now?
“Victor has been in center field all year, and he’s played really well for us,” Martinez said.
“When he’s healthy, he’ll get a chance to play. But like I said before, we want him to be at 100 percent. So until then, we’ll see what happens here in the next day or so.”
Meanwhile, the Nationals move forward after taking both games in Busch Stadium to go up 2-0 on the Cardinals in the best-of-seven series.
So who’s starting in center in Game 3 with the Cards in D.C.? Bah gawd it’s Victor Robles!!!!