Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters on Sunday afternoon that they would be watching Victor Robles closely as he worked out before making decision on whether or not their 22-year-old outfielder could return to the lineup for the first time since he hurt his hamstring running out a bunt in Game 2 of the NLDS on October 4th.
“We’re going to run him a little bit today,” Martinez said.
“He’s got to get some treatment, and then we’ll see. 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.”
In spite of the fact that Michael A. Taylor has filled in admirably, going 6 for 20 (.300 AVG) with a home run, a walk, and seven Ks in 21 PAs over the last five games, Martinez said he thought once Robles was healthy, he’d likely return to center field.
“Victor has been in center field all year,” the second-year skipper said, “... and he’s played really well for us. 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.”
When the Nationals’ lineup for Game 3 of the NLCS was released, Robles’s name was listed as the starting center fielder, batting eighth. What did Martinez see that convinced him the outfielder was ready to return?
“He ran the bases today and ran them full tilt,” Martinez said. “So he looked really good. We wanted him to hit on the field. He couldn’t do that, obviously, because it started pouring down rain, but he hit in the cage, took some good swings. He’s raring to go. Excited to be back on the field.”
With Robles ready to go at this point, Martinez explained, it made more sense to start the outfielder than have him come off the bench.
“The biggest thing with Victor -- Michael’s played really, really well, but with Victor,” he said, “it’s getting him loose and in the game and letting him play as opposed to keeping him on the bench, trying to get him loose again.
“I talked to the training staff about that and felt that he should just get loose and get in the game. If something happens, Michael is ready to play.”