Davey Martinez was clear about the club’s plans for 20-year-old infielder Luis García after the Nationals called their infield prospect up to make his MLB debut last night when they learned that Starlin Castro suffered a broken right wrist.
García, who started the season ranked second on MLB Pipeline’s list of Washington’s top prospects, went 2 for 5 with a run scored in his first game above Double-A ball. Martinez said after the Nationals’ 15-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles that García will play now that he’s up.
“He’s going to play second base for us,” the manager explained. “I liked his at bats. He went up there against some left-handed pitching today, and he stood his ground. He was good. We knew that about him. As far as playing second base, he can play second, short, he’s got a good glove. He’s just a kid with a lot of energy, loves to play, but he looked really good out there, so he’s going to get a chance to play second base almost ever day, so we’ll see what happens.”
García, who signed out of the Dominican Republic for $1.3M in 2016, told reporters through interpreter Octavio Martinez, that the vote of confidence from his manager meant a lot.
“I’m very grateful and thank God for the opportunity,” García said, “... and I hope to little by little — by making the plays out on the field, and just doing my job, that I gain more of his confidence and his trust in me. I’m just looking forward to playing out there and doing my job to help the team win.”
Watching Garcia play alongside 22-year-old infielder Carter Kieboom (2 for 4, two runs last night), who was the top-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline’s list going into this season, was fun.
“It was really good to see. It was a lot of fun watching those two guys play and do well,” Martinez said.
“It really was. So like I said before they’re going to get an opportunities to play.
“Hope they have continued success. It’s a lot of fun for them when they are successful. So we’re just going to get them out there and hopefully they continue to keep playing well.
“Carter, like I said, Carter’s defense has gotten better. He’s been working really hard on it. It’s a new position for him, but he’s doing well. Tonight we saw that, it paid off.”
García’s back in the lineup, playing second and batting sixth, in front of Kieboom, who’s back at third base tonight in the second of three with the Orioles.