About 90 minutes before the Washington Nationals announced that they had placed Victor Robles on the 10-Day IL, (retroactive to May 20th), with a right ankle sprain, Davey Martinez talked to reporters about the progress the 24-year-old outfielder made since he’d rolled the ankle rounding first base during the series in Chicago last week.
“He’s about the same,” Martinez said. “It’s going to be day-to-day. We got to get through today, we got a day off tomorrow, and then we’ll know more Tuesday. He’s going to get treatment all day today, he’ll get treatment tomorrow.
“He did take some dry swings yesterday, he hit a little bit off the tee yesterday. So he’s progressing, it’s just going to take some time I think. We’ll know more by Tuesday.”
A reporter wondered then how much of the Nationals’ willingness to wait on Robles was tied to the fact they don’t have another outfielder on the 40-Man roster at the moment.
“We want to give [Robles] an opportunity, like I said, he’s getting better each and every day,” the manager explained, “and when it comes to these sprains, it’s weird. For me it’s more pain tolerance than anything else. Everything is fine. We got MRIs, he’s good. We took the X-rays, he’s good. It’s just getting him back on his feet. Hopefully today he can do a little bit more than he did yesterday, and then I know tomorrow he’s going to come and get treatment again, and then we’ll see where we’re at on Tuesday.
“It helps that we have a day off tomorrow.”
Martinez said that he felt the club has the depth to get by in center with Robles out, with both Andrew Stevenson and Josh Harrison able to fill in, though Harrison just played the first game in center in his career on Saturday.
“As long as nobody else gets injured, knock on wood, we’re okay,” Martinez said. “Like I said, Stevenson has done well out there. Harrison, I really feel really comfortable putting him out there if we need to, but hopefully, as you know, Victor is important to this club and what he does out in center field is kind of hard to replace, but hopefully he gets back as soon as possible and if we have to do something else we’ll cross that bridge when we get there, but I’m hoping that by these next two days he’ll be fine.”
Robles was getting going at the plate before the injury, with a .271/.352/.396 line over 17 games in May, after a .227/.346/.273 month of April, but he’ll have some time to heal up over the next week and hopefully pick up where he left off.
“I mean, hopefully, like I said, these next two days are going to determine a lot,” Martinez said before Robles went on the IL.
“And if all of a sudden come Tuesday he’s about the same as he is today,” he added, “... then we’re definitely going to have to do something. We don’t know what that decision is going to be like yet, but if he can’t play by Tuesday, then we can back date it and get him on the IL and give him some time to really get ready.”
Then, about 90 minutes later, the team announced Robles was going on the IL. Martinez told reporters after the game what changed.
“He was still pretty much status quo this morning as he has been,” Martinez said, “he did get a little bit better, but we want to get him on there, we can back date it three days, and this way he can come off as soon as he possibly can. Tonight we played with a man down, but we want to make sure that when he comes back he’s ready to go and give him a little extra time.”