Fedde Still Headed To High-A:
Stephen Strasburg’s latest injury issue and subsequent return to the 10-Day IL with what the team described as a neck strain, (which was later diagnosed as nerve irritation in his neck), didn’t change the Washington Nationals’ thinking on where Erick Fedde would make his next start.
Manager Davey Martinez announced before the start of play on Tuesday, that Fedde would head over to Wilmington to start for the new High-A affiliate today as he builds towards his return, and as of Wednesday afternoon that remained the plan.
“Yes. Fedde is going to go down and pitch,” Martinez told reporters in his pregame Zoom call before the third of four with the Braves in Atlanta.
“The crazy thing is I’m watching the weather, and we’re supposed to get some bad rains here in the next few days everywhere, so we got to keep an eye on that, but we definitely want him to go down and pitch tomorrow and then see where he’s at from there.
“We’ll have to make some arrangements. I know we’re banging our heads right now to try to figure something out for Sunday’s start, but once again, like I said, I want to make sure Fedde is good and he’s healthy and he’s ready.”
Strasburg was officially placed on the IL on Wednesday afternoon, with Kyle McGowin back up from Triple-A to take his place on the big league roster.
Starter Options: Martinez Talks Minor League Arms
With the Nationals’ starting depth getting tested following Strasburg’s injury and Fedde’s absence as he works his way back from time on the COVID-IL after testing positive, it is relevant to ask about the other options in the organization, which a reporter did in the pregame Zoom call with Martinez on Wednesday.
Rogelio Armenteros and Ben Braymer were the names brought up to Martinez, who said that both were doing better after rough starts this season.
“We’re looking at all those options right now,” he said. “Ben, he struggled in the beginning, he’s starting to pitch a little better.
“I know he’s got some personal issues going on right now with family issues, so we don’t know where he’s going to be at, but those guys are — as you know they’re keeping themselves ready.
“We’re weighing all the options right now to see where we’re going to be, but hopefully when we get these MRI results back, that they’re clean and then we can go forward with Stephen. Right now my thoughts are right now trying to figure out what’s going on with Stephen and once we get some results back then we can plan ahead.”
And Armenteros, who was selected off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks this past winter?
“He’s another one that was struggling at first, and he’s starting to pick it up a little bit,” the manager explained. “Like I said, both of those guys, they are options, but we’ll see — my focus now is today, as always, and we’ll see what happens down the road.”
And speaking of down the road, how about some of the top pitching prospects in the Nats’ organization? Just pump the brakes before you start thinking Cade Cavalli is coming up any time soon...
“Obviously we are watching those guys very carefully,” Martinez said. “They’re our young guys and they’re prospects for us, but yet, you got to realize that these guys have missed a lot of time. They didn’t pitch all of last year — I know they were in Fredericksburg — but they didn’t compete really all of last year, so we want those guys to develop and we don’t want to rush them up here, so we watch them, they’re doing well, I know Cavalli, [Cole] Henry, all of them, [Tyler] Dyson, they’re all doing really well, but we want them to get innings in, and we want them to compete down there, and then right now that’s where they’re at, and I talk to [GM Mike Rizzo], we talked a lot about those guys, but they’re our future and we just want to keep building them up.”
Hey, What About Seth Romero?:
“He’s in Florida right now just getting built up. That’s all I got for him. We’re trying to build him up and get him ready, and get him to Rochester when he’s ready.”
Zimmerman Speaks Truthiness:
As much as everyone involved enjoyed Tuesday’s offensive outburst, Ryan Zimmerman hit on the reality of the club’s situation when he talked with reporters in his post game Zoom call following the win.
“I think we’ve had one or two games like this and the next three or four we don’t score runs or we don’t get opportunities,” Zimmerman said, “... so I think it’s nice to do what we did tonight, and string together a bunch of good at bats. The key is to kind of keep it going and be a little bit more consistent.”
Zimmerman’s manager agreed with that assessment, but he said he’s liked what he’s seen from his team in terms of their approach at the plate recently, even when they have had a bit of trouble scoring runs.
“We were staying on top of the balls, we were swinging early at fastballs, and everybody just had really good at bats,” Martinez said.
“We were taking pitches that we shouldn’t be swinging at, so now it’s just — we talk about this all the time, it’s about consistency. Repeating. Repeating those at bats today.
“I’m happy that yesterday we scored eleven runs, so hopefully we continue to do that today and we continue to have good at bats today.”
Narrator: They did.