Robles Running... Returning Soon?
Victor Robles went on the 10-Day IL this past Tuesday, May 23rd (retroactive to 5/20) with a right ankle sprain, so he could potentially return this weekend, but the Nationals want their 24-year-old center field to test the ankle before he’s reinstated. The weather in the nation’s capital did not cooperate with their plans.
“Victor was supposed to run the bases today, due to the inclement weather, he’s not going to be able to do that, so hopefully tomorrow we can get him out there, run the bases, and see where he’s at,” manager Davey Martinez told reporters after announcing that the series opener with the Milwaukee Brewers was postponed by the same inclement weather.
If Robles “passes” the Nationals’ tests for him, will be ready to jump back in?
“I watched him yesterday do some stability stuff, and agility stuff and he looked good,” the skipper explained. “The big thing now is getting him out there, running the bases, getting him out in the outfield, starting and stopping, and see where he’s at from there and then we’ll go from there.”
Will Harris Be Back In 2021?:
Last we heard from Martinez on veteran reliever Will Harris, who has continued to struggle with inflammation in his right-hand, which remained undiagnosed, the pitcher was on the way to see another specialist after being placed on the 10-Day IL following a couple rough outings.
Harris missed time this spring, as he tried to get a diagnosis on the issue, and when some potentially scary possibilities were ruled out, he tried to work through it, but that wasn’t a success, so they decided to try to figure it out once and for all.
Martinez was asked yesterday if there was any update on Harris.
“He saw a doctor in Dallas, and they gave him some options,” the manager said, without any details of what they saw or what options they gave him.
“We’re waiting to hear back. We’re going to talk to Will and see which direction we’re going to go in next.
“I’ll know more in the next day or two, we’re still waiting for him to get back and talk to him.”
Is there hope that he could return to the bullpen at some point this season?
“They gave him a few options,” Martinez said. “So I want to talk to Will before I say anything more about it, and determine what he wants to do, so we’ll go from there for now, and like I said, I’ll have more about it probably, hopefully in the next day or two.”
If Harris isn’t back soon, do the Nationals need to supplement the relief corps?
“I think the guys that we have right now have done a great job. I really do. And some of the guys, as we know, are still young, and they’re maturing, and they’re getting better. And let’s not forget that [Kyle] McGowin has done a fine job for us in the role that he played, coming up and down, he’s done really well.
“That’s good to see too, and knowing that we have him in the wings every time something happens, that he can come up and pitch well and give us some innings, and pitch well, that’s good.”
Fedde Almost Ready To Return:
Now for some positive medical news: Erick Fedde, who tested positive for COVID-19, after he was vaccinated, has been cleared to return to the team.
“He’s been cleared,” Martinez said. “He’s actually — we’re going to get him out to Bowie tomorrow, he’s allowed to go out, and then — but it’s going to probably rain, so we don’t know what’s going to end up happening, but the good news is he has been cleared.
“So he is ready to do baseball activity. As soon as we can get him on the mound we will.”
Martinez said previously that with the time Fedde has missed, he’d need to get some work in before returning, thus the plan to send him to Bowie, MD, where the Nationals’ Double-A affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators, are in the midst of a six-game series.
“Because [Fedde is] vaccinated, as soon as he’s done he can rejoin the team,” Martinez said.
“Obviously he’s got to get tested like everybody else does, but he’s good to go. So as soon as we deem him ready, he can join the team.”
Luis García’s Major League Education:
With Victor Robles on the IL, Luis García, 21, is back in the majors, after he played 40 games for the Nationals in 2020’s 60-game COVID campaign, and he tripled in his first at bat since being called back up. What does his manager want García to take from his time with the big league club before he (presumably) returns to Triple-A Rochester?
“Like I tell him all the time, I want him to learn, I want him to ask questions. He looks up to Starlin Castro and he has a lot of conversations with Starlin, I think right now they’ve got the same haircut. But I told him, I said, ‘Hey, pick these guys’ brains, and learn and watch and observe,’ and he’s done that. Often times I’ll look down the bench and see who’s available and who’s out there, and he’s always up on that rail and watching positioning, and learning, and talking to [Josh] Harrison about playing second base, and also because his role is a little different right now, because he has to pinch hit, he was in the cage with [Yadiel Hernández] and [Ryan Zimmerman] and talking to them about pinch hitting and how they go about it.
“It’s definitely a learning experience for him, and he’s done well, he’s adapted well. Every time I see him it seems like he matures a little bit more and understands that it’s about consistency here for a young player, and it’s not just about just hitting, it’s about playing good defense, it’s about running the bases, it’s about doing all the little things and he’s really starting to pick up on that.”
He’s got 48 games of experience in the majors, and he just turned 21 this month, so there’s plenty of room for growth, and Martinez noted, he’s not alone.
“I’ve got quite a few of them that are that way,” the manager said. “I tell myself about Juan Soto, as good as he is, I always have to tell myself he’s still a young pup. Robles, still very young, still learning the game. It’s good for me because it helps me understand what this game is really like, and helps me continue to teach, which I love, and having those guys around keeps me a little bit younger than what I really am.”