One of several roster moves the Washington Nationals made on Friday afternoon, in advance of the four-game series with the NL East-leading New York Mets, was to put outfielder/bench bat Andrew Stevenson on the 10-Day IL with an oblique strain.
They also optioned reliever Ryne Harper to Triple-A Syracuse. But Harper was called back up today as the 27th man for the doubleheader with the Mets.
Did manager Davey Martinez have any concerns about calling up a pitcher versus an extra outfielder with Stevenson on the IL?
“I think we’re covered,” Martinez said before the first game of today’s doubleheader with the Mets.
“We have J-Hay [Josh Harrison who] can play in the outfield if need be. [Jordy] Mercer can play everywhere as well in the infield, so I think we’re covered. The thing about having an extra pitcher, you never know which way the games are going to go. I know it’s just seven innings, but you want to be able to cover both games, the biggest thing is the turnaround for tomorrow, the nine-inning game.
“So having that extra guy, the 27th man, if something goes awry, we can throw him possibly for two or three innings and save the rest of our bullpen for either game two, or tomorrow’s game.
“So thinking ahead, having that extra pitcher for us, it’s good right now.”
Martinez also mentioned wanting to get Luis García, (who was called up after Starlin Castro went on the Restricted List earlier this week, and kept up when Castro returned yesterday), more at bats, but not being able to because of recent matchups.
“Unfortunately we’ve got all these lefties that we’re facing,” Martinez explained. “I’d like to get [García] in a game.
“He might play Game 2, we’ll see how Game 1 goes. But he was actually doing really well down there [at Triple-A Rochester] as well. He’s really starting to swing the bat really well. Driving the ball to the opposite field. Hit a couple home runs to straight away center field, and really playing second base really well. So hopefully he gets an opportunity, we get an opportunity to get him in a game and get four at bats here soon.”
So how did Martinez line them up for the second game of today’s doubleheader in D.C.?
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP TO THE NIGHTCAP WITH THE METS:
Go 1-0 in Game 2.#NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/YHw6wcfNBb— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 19, 2021