Davey Martinez’s club has won four straight and 6 of 10 down the stretch, remaining alive (mathematically) with just five games left on the regular season schedule. Things haven’t gone the way the defending World Series champions wanted them to this season, but they’re providing the fans who’ve stuck with them this year with reasons to hope that things might be different next season. Martinez sees positive signs.
“We’ve got some really good arms, we’ve got some really young, talented players down there in [Fredericksburg] that are developing, that are going to help us here,” he said in Tuesday’s pregame Zoom call from Nationals Park of the talent that was at the club’s Alternate Training Site as part of the 60-Man Player Pool this season.
“You’ve only seen a couple of them here with Luis García, Carter [Kieboom], we saw [Seth] Romero earlier, unfortunately broke his hand.
“That’s only scratching the surface of what we have down there. We’ve got some unbelievable pitching, some guys that are going to help us in the bullpen, some left-handers, some starting pitching, we’ve got a couple young outfielders that are really looking good, a couple of shortstops that look good.
“So I’m excited about what’s going to happen here in the future.”
As for the present, the Nationals (who currently have less than 1% chance of making it to the postseason) have put up a fight during this pandemic season, and more importantly they’ve managed to keep their players safe for the most part, even if they didn’t all make it through the season, with a number of injuries hitting the roster and forcing the club to dip into their pool.
“Unfortunately this has been a 60-game year. We didn’t know what to expect coming in, but what I do know is that I’m proud of the guys,” Martinez said.
“We had a lot of injuries. There’s no excuses, but the guys have come out every day, never complained, went through all the protocols, all the process.
“We stayed healthy for the most part. Followed protocol and we just fell short this year, but going forward I think we’re definitely headed in the right direction. We’ve still got — with those young players, we’ve still got some pretty good starting pitching coming back. I’m excited about that.”
Martinez did say that he actually feels bad for some of the players who came back from the 2019 championship roster, who haven’t had the usual season to celebrate the World Series win, knowing some might move on without having a chance to take a victory lap.
“I really feel horrible for the guys. Because they earned every bit of that,” he said.
“I always tell them, I say, hey look, 2021 is coming, there will be baseball. Hopefully there will be fans, and fans won’t forget.
“We’re World champs, nobody is ever going to take that away from us, so keep your heads up. If guys are not here we’ll make sure we bring them back, to visit so that everybody gets to see them and they have that. They need to have that closure, and so hopefully we’ll bring all the guys back.”