Rotation Plans - Joe Ross Feels Discomfort:
Joe Ross had a little tightness in his forearm, Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez announced on a Zoom call back on July 8th, so the right-hander went on the 10-Day IL before the team had time off for the All-Star break.
“He has a little inflammation in his right forearm,” Martinez said while the team was on the road in San Diego before the break. “So as we talked before with him not pitching all of last year, we just want to be very cautious and keep an eye on this thing. So, we put him on the IL to get some of the swelling down, and hopefully it’s just one start that he misses. So, we’ll see what happens. He saw the doctor yesterday, he wasn’t very concerned about it, so we’ll just see how he progresses here in the next 10 days.”
Following the first game of the second-half, a 24-8 loss in which sometime-starter Paolo Espino had to give the Nationals 2 1⁄3 innings in relief, Martinez was asked if that length from the right-hander affected rotation plans going forward.
“No, [Espino] actually had a bullpen day today, so we haven’t decided where — we got to see where Joe is at, but he could possibly pitch on Tuesday, so we’ll see.”
Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. Martinez said on Saturday afternoon that the 28-year-old right-hander was still feeling discomfort in his right arm.
“He threw yesterday,” the manager said. “He said he felt a lot better, but still has a little bit of discomfort, so it’s likely that he won’t make his start on Tuesday, and we’ll continue to build him up.”
So, Tuesday’s starter will be ... Espino?
“That would likely be Paolo, yeah,” Martinez said. And on Monday it will be Jon Lester?
“Monday, Monday, yeah,” Martinez added.
Victor Robles Okay:
Victor Robles left Friday night’s game with dizziness, according to his manager, who told reporters after the Nationals’ loss that the center fielder might have been dehydrated.
“He got dizzy out in the field,” Martinez said after the loss to the Padres, “and precautionary measures, I didn’t want him out there, he said he felt real dizzy.”
“I think it’s a heat thing or maybe that he didn’t drink enough to hydrate. But it is — when somebody says they’re very dizzy and they feel like their stomach is nauseated, I can’t leave him in the game, he’s got to get checked out.”
Robles was back in the lineup on Saturday night, for the second of three with the Padres in D.C..
“He says he feels fine,” Martinez said before the game. “He’s been hydrating himself since he came out of the game yesterday, so he says he feels good. He’s going to go get some work in and we’ll keep an eye on him.”
“I think with the layoff and him coming out trying to get ramped up, and really get his body going to compete in a game, he might have overdid it, he might not have drank enough. So we talked to the trainers and they thought it was a bit of dehydration that caused it, so like I said, he got hydrated all last night and today, and he said he feels a lot better.”
Davey Martinez was asked before Saturday’s game what the message was for his club after the 24-8 loss to the Padres on Friday night in Nationals Park.
“What game last night? What are you talking about?” Martinez said. “That’s how we treat it.”
Going into the All-Star break, Ryan Zimmerman was mired in something slump-y, just 3 for 31 in his previous 17 games (five starts) and 32 plate appearances, over which he had hit his ninth home run of the season, but not much else.
The 16-year veteran told reporters he was happy with his at bats if not the results, however.
“I know I’m not going to get a hit every time, and pinch hitting is tough, but I’ve been happy with my at bats, I’ve swung at good pitches,” Zimmerman said, he’d just missed his pitches.
“I haven’t had bad at bats,” he added.
“The numbers and the production hasn’t been there, but like I said, it’s hard to pinch hit.
“So as long as I keep having good at bats and keep swinging at strikes and swinging at good pitches, it’s what you want to do.”
Josh Bell got hot, Zimmerman explained, and of course Bell was going to play when he was swinging it well, so, “... like I said, I just have to keep having good at bats, swinging at strikes off the bench.”
Davey Martinez penciled Zimmerman in at first base, batting fourth against Padres’ lefty Blake Snell on Saturday night.
“He had a great at bat yesterday, I thought, coming off the bench, smoked a ball to second base on one hop, guy made a diving play,” Martinez said.
“For me, when Zim is going really good, as we all know, he hits the ball to right-center field better than anybody. That’s something we always talk about for him, is just stay on the ball and be aggressive. A lot of times when he starts going bad, he starts taking a lot of pitches and he’s always hitting with two strikes.
“We want him to be a little bit more aggressive, especially with guys in scoring position, go out there and see a ball you can handle and let it go.
“But I love watching Zim hit, man. Zim is one of those guys where he can put the ball in play with the best of them, and when he does hit it, he hits the ball hard. So it’s just a matter of — I told him, I said, ‘Look, you’ve hit some balls hard, you haven’t got any hits for it, so don’t change anything, just stay in the middle of the field.”
Zimmerman hit a three-run shot to straight center with Trea Turner on and Juan Soto on in the bottom of the third inning last night, connecting for his 10th HR of the season, just the second since June 9th.