Victor Robles’s Ankle Update:
Victor Robles rolled his right ankle rounding first in Wrigley Field, and the 24-year-old center fielder hasn’t returned to the lineup since he left the game a few innings later. An X-ray came back negative, but the club got an MRI to make sure there wasn’t anything going on that the X-ray missed. Davey Martinez, in a pregame Zoom call with reporters on Saturday afternoon, said they got the MRI results.
“It just came back as a sprained ankle,” Martinez said. “So he’s going to be day-to-day, we’ll see how he feels today, and then we’ll go from there.”
Robles was just getting going at the plate when the injury occurred, with a .271/.352/.396 line over 17 games in May, after a .227/.346/.273 month of April. Will the club have to shut him down and put him on the IL?
“As of right now, no,” Martinez said. “He’s getting a little bit better every day. So, like I said, for me today is going to be — if we get him over that hump today, maybe we can miss that IL.”
As for what Robles has been doing over the last few days?
“He doesn’t even come out for the game,” the skipper said. “He’s staying in there getting constant treatment, ice, contrast, all kinds of stuff, so he looked a little better yesterday after the game as far as walking-wise and stuff, but we’re still — it’s one of those things where if you sprain your ankle, you never know how long it’s going to take.”
Wander Wants To Pitch:
Wander Suero took the mound in eight of the Nationals’ first 12 games this season, before the 29-year-old righty suffered an oblique injury, which kept him on the IL for a total of 22 games.
Since he’s returned from the IL, Suero had appeared in four of eight following Friday night’s game against the Orioles, in which he worked a scoreless, nine-pitch frame.
“He’s been really good. He’s been throwing strikes, which is always important for him, trying to get ahead of hitters,” Martinez said of what he’s seen from Suero in his recent outings.
“For me, with him, it’s usually the first hitter, when he comes in, and he fell behind yesterday and then all of a sudden he got right back into the strike zone,” Martinez said. “So, and that’s always been the key for him, is really to focus on that first hitter as he comes into the game. So I thought he threw the ball well, he’s been throwing the ball well, even before he got hurt I liked the way he was throwing, so we’ve got to keep him going as well.”
Keep him going well, and keep him healthy. While it might seem like Martinez uses Suero an awful lot, he said he and his coaches have to actually stop the righty from throwing more.
“I think it’s his personality,” the manager said.
“If you watch, one, he’s funny, he’s very bubbly, he has all this energy. A lot of times [Bullpen Coach] Henry [Blanco] throws with him out in the outfield before the games, and he constantly just wants to throw, throw, throw, and Henry has to tell him, ‘Hey, enough. You’ve thrown enough, get ready for the game.’
“That’s who he is, he wants to help his team win. He never complains about pitching, he wants to pitch all the time.
“For me, that’s a good thing, but because he had that oblique we have to be smart about it now.”
Make Sam Smile:
After talking about Suero, Martinez was asked about the other arms in the Nationals’ ‘pen, or their personalities, actually. Who’s the biggest character or the biggest personality in their bullpen?
“Gosh there’s a lot of them,” Martinez said, “... but [Suero] has got to be one of them. [Daniel Hudson] in his own way. You see him very quiet, but he’s kind of got a little personality as well. We’re trying to get some personality out of Sam Clay, that’s for sure, like I said, I got him to smile a couple times, but he’s pretty much ‘Steady Eddie’, he’s just one of those guys. I know the bullpen guys are trying to get him to loosen up a little bit, but it’s been tough, but he’s such a good kid.”