Victor Robles was 2 for 2 with a double and a single off Chicago Cubs’ starter Jake Arrieta on Wednesday night in Wrigley Field, when the Washington Nationals’ 24-year-old center fielder rolled his ankle rounding first base on the second hit.
It looked like another double off the bat, but Robles, who drove in a run with the hit, fell in the infield dirt after injuring ankle, and hopped back to the bag before the trainer came to check on him.
“At first I was really concerned,” Nats’ manager Davey Martinez said after the Nationals’ 4-3 win over the Cubs on Wednesday night. “I thought maybe it could be his achilles, the way he went down, and then I told him I had to take him out of the game and he shot up like a rocket and started running. But it did get sore as the game progressed.”
Robles stayed in the game for another at bat, striking out, but then left the field after the top of the seventh inning.
“It started to get a little bit worse as the game went on,” Martinez explained in his post game Zoom call with reporters, “so we thought it was a great time to take him out of the game.”
Out of concern, and an abundance of caution, the club sent Robles for X-rays on the ankle.
“We just honestly want to make sure we get X-rays,” Martinez said. “And make sure there’s nothing significant. Precautionary, so hopefully — he was in there, I was talking to him the last couple innings, and he said he’s just sore, but he had great strength, so we’ll just see what the X-rays show.”
A significant injury of any kind for Robles right now is particularly cruel, considering he has just started to heat up at the plate. His two-hit game in Wrigley Field left him 7 for 17 on the now-completed road trip (.412/.500/.706) with five doubles in his last six games, after he’d gotten off to a slow start offensively this season.
Robles’s five doubles in the last six games, come after he hit two in the first 33 games this season.
“You know man, it’s really tough to see a guy like that going down,” teammate Juan Soto said. “He’s our [everyday center fielder] and we really need him back there.
“It’s really tough to see him down and see him getting hurt. Not just him, I mean everybody, everybody in the lineup it’s tough to see them going down, because I know they really grinded to be out there, they grinded to be with the team, they helped the team as much as they can. More when he has a day like that when he has two base hits and he feels good at the plate, you can see the last couple days — to see him go down is really tough.”
The Nats’ skipper had relatively good news when he updated reporters on Robles’s status in advance of the series finale with the Cubs on Thursday afternoon.
“X-rays were negative,” Martinez said. “He’s going to be day-to-day. He feels pretty good today, so he’s getting treatment and hopefully he’s available.”
Asked if there were further tests planned, or if the team comfortable that they avoided a major injury, Martinez said, “At this point, talking to our training staff, he feels pretty good, there’s no swelling, so we’ll see how he gets through today.”
Martinez did say that he thought all things considered they got lucky.
“Honestly I think we got a little lucky,” he said.
“I really do. When he first fell I thought he had blown his achilles. But you know the good news is that the X-rays came back negative, he feels okay, so that’s good.
“He’s doing well, he’s swinging the bat well and, he’s playing well, and I love the way he’s playing right now.”
On the year, Robles, who turned 24 on Wednesday, has a .246/.348/.325 line with seven doubles, a triple, 13 walks, and 32 Ks in 133 plate appearances.