But the condition of another lefty reliever is also important to the Nationals and their bullpen going into the last week of the month.
Sean Doolittle, on the Injured List since August 13 with right knee fatigue, was slated to throw on Monday in Fredericksburg at the alternate site for the Nationals.
“He is going to throw today. We will see how he feels today,” Martinez said.
The third-year manager said he consults with several people about Doolittle, including members of the athletic training staff and Triple-A Fresno manager Randy Knorr – who is running the show at the alternate site.
“All of the above. We are all on the same page with what is next for Doo,” Martinez said.
Last year, Doolittle was 6-5, with a 4.05 ERA in 63 appearances, with 29 saves for the World Series champions.
This year he has struggled, going 0-1, 15.00 in five outings over just three innings and he doesn’t have a save opportunity.
With the injury to Romero, the Nationals recalled lefty pitcher Ben Braymer – who had been on the 40-Man roster. Braymer was drafted in the 18th round in 2016 by the Nationals out of Auburn; he had been at the alternate site before joining the taxi squad of the Nationals.
“He’s got a lot of funk and is deceptive with his mix of pitches and how he changes speeds. He gets a lot of guys off balance and has really been dialed in on moving the ball around in his outings at the alternate site,” pitching prospect Jackson Rutledge, who reached Single-A Hagerstown last year, wrote to Federal Baseball last week about Braymer.
Braymer spent part of last season with Triple-A Fresno, as did right-hander Austin Voth. A product of Washington State, Voth is slated to make the start for the Nationals against the Miami Marlins tonight.
Voth has gone six innings just three times in 14 starts at the Major League level. He is 3-4, 4.26 in 17 games overall at the top level.
This year he’s 0-2, 5.00 in four starts for Washington.
He has learned from spending time around veteran Max Scherzer, as the two spent time in Florida during the shutdown.
“It’s awesome; they worked together a lot during the layoff,” Martinez said.
“They threw together as much as they possibly could. They talked a lot about mechanics for the past few days. I am curious to see what transpired off those conversations.”
“For us, it’s a great balance,” Martinez added. “We have veteran guys in there that help them (younger players). Our veteran guys have always been on the forefront of helping younger players. Our younger players have much energy they make it fun for our veteran guys. That is huge moving forward for us. We all know where we came from.”
Martinez also said Monday he had a chance to talk to infielder Starlin Castro, who went on the IL on August 14.
“He’s doing great; the surgery went well,” Martinez said. Castro said he hoped to return in three weeks, but Martinez didn’t want to commit to such an optimistic timetable.
“I told him to relax. He said everything went well,” Martinez said. “With surgery like this, you have to wait it out.”