Why mess with a really good thing?
Dave Martinez isn’t going to for now – but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t stay up at night playing with his lineup.
Trea Turner (.377) hitting leadoff with Juan Soto (.367) behind him has spelled trouble for opposing pitchers the past few games as they have the top two averages in the National League.
Turner is hitting .563 his last seven games and .500 in his last 15 – just crazy numbers – while Soto is batting .367 in the last week and has 11 homers in just 90 at-bats this season.
“I have been around these guys every day for the past couple of years,” Martinez said before Tuesday’s game in Philadelphia. “I know what kind of players they are. It has been fun to watch what they are doing right now. I am glad they are on this team, that’s for sure. They are doing well.”
That said, Martinez was asked if he has considered putting other hitters in front of Turner and Soto to create more RBI opportunities for the dynamic duo.
“Absolutely. As you know, I don’t sleep at night,” Martinez said. “I run about 15 different batting orders. I just don’t have very many options right now. We need some guys at the bottom of the order to get on base for them. I want to (get) them up there as much as we can. They are carrying the offense right now.”
Victor Robles (.237, two homers), who normally bats at the bottom of the order, got another night off Tuesday as Martinez wants to get him ready for the stretch drive.
Michael A. Taylor, starting in center again on Tuesday, is hitting .190 this season with three homers. Veteran Asdrúbal Cabrera, who got off to a fast start, is hitting .115 in his last seven games and .193 in the past 15.
“I feel bad for Cabrera,” Martinez said. “He squared some balls off (Monday), as he had been with nothing to show for it. I hope he keeps hitting the ball hard.”
Right fielder Adam Eaton was hitting at the top of the lineup but was dropped down. He is hitting .237 this year but .262 in his last 15 games.
“He was swinging too much out of the strike zone,” Martinez said. “He has been hitting the ball a lot better … we (may be able) to get him up in the top of the lineup and see what happens.”
Shortstop Turner has 15 hits in his last four games and since 1961 only four other players have done that. Left fielder Soto became just the third player age 21 or younger to hit at least 10 homers in their first 25 games of a season.
But the two can’t do it alone for the Nats.