How’s Howie Doing?:
Davey Martinez told reporters after Sunday’s series finale in Baltimore that Howie Kendrick was not available. Kendrick’s hamstrings were tight, so the Washington Nationals’ manager decided to give the 36-year-old, 15-year veteran some time off to heal. And when he got to the park today in Atlanta? Kendrick wasn’t in the lineup. But is he available tonight?
“I talked to him this morning,” Martinez said in his pregame Zoom call with reporters.
“He said he felt better. He was going to come in today, get treatment, and maybe do some running.
“He said he’d be available to pinch hit today, which is kind of nice. If we need him, he should be available to pinch hit.”
Martinez talked often during the 2019 campaign about managing Kendrick carefully to be sure that he was available as much as possible. Does the history they have together make things easier?
“It helps me out a lot, tremendously,” the third-year manager told reporters. “Like I said, this is all based on conversations I have with him every day. And he’s pretty honest with me. If he feels like he can actually go out there and push it a little bit, he’ll tell me, and we just got to be smart. I know it’s a shortened season, but we want him for the duration of the season, and we don’t want to lose him for three weeks.
“If we lose him for three weeks, it’s pretty much game over. So we want to make sure that when he comes back, he’s good to go and we can, like I said, we could use him, but there are going to be times when I’m just going to have to give him the day to recover.”
Through 14 games and 54 plate appearances, Kendrick’s 15 for 50 (.300/.333/.380), but he hasn’t played since Friday, when he played in the fifth of five straight games.
Martinez was also asked this afternoon if he had any updates on Stephen Strasburg, who left the mound after just 2⁄3 of an inning of work on Saturday with a flare-up of the nerve issue in his right wrist which has bothered him this season.
Strasburg ended up on the 10-Day Injured List with what the club’s press release on the move said was carpal tunnel neuritis of the right hand.
Last Martinez said, the ‘09 No. 1 overall pick was headed for more tests. Any updates? “No, he had his tests, we’re still waiting to hear back from the doctor. I know he’s scheduled to get more test throughout this week,” Martinez said.
“But from the first results, we haven’t heard anything yet. I talked to Paul Lessard, our trainer, and he’s still waiting to hear from the doctors.”
Do they have a plan for Strasburg moving forward, or do they need to get the results from the latest tests before they can come up with one?
“That’s pretty safe to say,” Martinez explained.
“We’re going to go through all these different protocols with him to get him — I know he did these tests today, he’s scheduled to see someone else in the next couple days, but as soon as something comes up I’ll definitely mention it to you guys. I was concerned today to see if we heard something, there was nothing. Paul said we haven’t heard from the doctors yet.”
Starlin Castro suffered a broken right wrist during this past Friday’s resumption of the tarp-postponed matchup with the Baltimore Orioles. Castro went on the 10-Day IL as well, and the club’s now waiting for a second opinion.
“No update yet,” Martinez said today.
“Actually I plan on calling Starlin myself. But we haven’t heard. I haven’t heard anything.
“He’s going to be out a while. He wanted to get a second opinion. So we’re still waiting to hear from that.”
Will Harris (groin issue) returned from the IL on August 13th, and he’s made one appearance since, giving up a hit, a walk, and a run in an inning of work on Friday. Is he capable of going back-to-back at this point if he’s asked to?
“I’ve talked to him and he said he’s good to go,” Martinez said today. “So, if we need him today, he’ll be out there. We got him up yesterday.
“He’s pretty smart about how he warms up. He has a routine, so he doesn’t throw as much, like some of our young guys, but yeah, he’ll be available today. But I told him he has to be honest with me as well. If he needs a day or if I think he needs a day, I’ll talk to him and we’ll talk about it, but he says he’s ready to go.”