Davey Martinez has been filing his lineups late a lot lately, with all of the injuries and waiting to see if players can go on a daily basis.
On Saturday afternoon, the Washington Nationals’ skipper was waiting on MRI results on Kyle Schwarber’s injured hamstring, with multiple roster moves pending, but once there was definitive news on Schwarber (a significant strain of the right hamstring), then there were decisions to make when it came to the lineup card.
Yadiel Hernández was called up from Triple-A and will likely see time in the outfield with Schwarber on the IL, and with Alex Avila (bilateral calf strains) going on the 10-Day IL as well, the Nationals called catcher Tres Barrera up to back up Yan Gomes (who got hit by a pitch in his elbow in Saturday’s loss).
Last night, Martinez went with veteran outfielder Gerardo Parra in left field.
“Parra is going to play left field today, we’re looking at different options right now. So we’ll come up with some kind of variable here in the next couple of hours,” Martinez said before the roster moves were officially announced.
“We just got the MRI results not too long ago, so we’ll definitely figure something out, but we got to keep playing baseball. It’s unfortunate that as hot as [Schwarber] was, and how much he helped us win over the last month, we have to do without him for a while, so the other guys definitely have to step up.”
After starting Humberto Arteaga at short on Friday night, newly-acquired infielder Alcides Escobar was the fourth shortstop in four days for the Nationals (after Trea Turner, out with an injured finger again, started on Wednesday, and Starlin Castro shifted from third over to short on Thursday), starting there after a trade from the Royals was completed.
Arteaga was DFA’d after one day, and Escobar, who had a .274/.311/.452 line at Triple-A in the Royals’ system before Kansas City dealt him to D.C., is likely to start at short for now, until Turner is able to return. And then? Martinez said his versatility, with time all over the infield and outfield in his career, was definitely a selling point with the 11-year veteran.
“Not only can he play shortstop, but he can also play different positions in the infield as well,” Martinez said.
“We’ll see what happens, we’re waiting to see what happens with Trea, and then we’ll go from there.”
Escobar said last night he thinks he can be of value to the club even after Turner is back.
“I feel like from the bench I can definitely help motivate, hopefully keep the energy up, and I can play a little bit of second as well,” he said
“And try to play on days when guys need some rest and maybe get in that way, but more than anything help motivate from the bench, this team, so that I can help them in that regard.”
Turner was getting work done on his finger, testing it, and waiting for the swelling to go down. He was on-deck last night when the game ended, and Martinez said he was okay hitting if there was a chance to win it.
“We were going to pinch hit him, I don’t know about playing the field. I talked to him and if we had a chance to win the game he would hit, and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
Would Turner return to the lineup today, following three games off, after he played all 87 before the injury?
Martinez and the shortstop didn’t have much time to sort things out. Last night’s game ended at around 12:20 AM, and today’s game gets underway at 11:05 AM.
“If we weren’t leaving town tomorrow, I’d definitely sleep here, that’s for sure,” Martinez said on his post game Zoom call after the third straight loss.
“It’s a quick turnaround. I told the boys get some quick rest, we got to go get’em at 11 tomorrow. We just got to be ready to play tomorrow.”