In his second outing back off a 28-day stint on the Injured List for a right hamstring injury, left-handed reliever Roenis Elías, acquired by the Washington Nationals from the Seattle Mariners at the trade deadline last month, gave up four hits, three of them by left-handed hitters, and two of them home runs, surrendering three runs total, two earned in an inning of work.
The Nationals, did, however, come back to win that game, rallying from six down in the ninth for an 11-10 win.
That appearance left the southpaw with a .375/.462/.661 line against vs left-handed hitters in 2019 (versus a .176/.231/.331 line against vs right-handed hitters).
“We got to get him to get lefties out,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters after that appearance. “That’s — and he understands that, we talked about it when he got here. He threw a lot of fastballs, he’s got a good breaking ball, really good changeup, he can throw both to lefties and righties, and we want to see him throw more to lefties, and that’s something that we’ll talk to him about here in the near future, but he’s got to use all his pitches, because he’s really good stuff, really good stuff.
“But I’m not down on him at all,” the manager added. “He just came off the IL, and we got to get him out there and he’s got to get lefties out.”
Martinez reiterated that point before the series opener with the Atlanta Braves in SunTrust Park last night.
“We talked to him about different things,” Martinez told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr.
“I think as he gets more comfortable doing it, you’ll see him getting better at it. I think he can do it. He’s got three really good pitches: above-average fastball, good curveball and a good changeup. I think the more he uses all his pitches against left-handed hitters, the better he’s going to be.”
Elías managed to retire left-handed hitter Freddie Freeman after giving up a leadoff single by Ozzie Albies, and he struck Josh Donaldson out before injuring his hamstring again. He left the mound after a brief visit from trainer Paul Lessard and Martinez.
“He tweaked his hamstring,” Martinez said after what ended up a 4-2 loss, “we don’t know anything definitive yet, it just got tight on him. We’ll know more tomorrow. Same one.”
Asked if Elías was headed for another MRI, Martinez said it was likely he would be.
“We’re probably going to have to get him an MRI, we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. He stretched okay, it’s just tight. We’ll know more tomorrow.”