Wander To Rochester For A While:
Wander Suero gave up three runs on three hits in the ninth inning of Monday night’s game, in the second of back-to-back blown saves for the Washington Nationals’ 29-year-old righty, who gave up at least one run for the 11th time in his last 13 appearances, over which he put up an 11.37 ERA and a .333/.409/.702 line against, giving up 19 hits, five walks, six HRs, and a total of 21 runs, 17 earned.
“I wanted to give Suero another opportunity to go out there,” Davey Martinez said after the loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday, “... get him back out there, and he just — falling behind a lot, his cutter, he’s not hitting his spots, he’s leaving too many balls out over the plate.”
Given all of that, it wasn’t too much of a surprise when the Nationals optioned Suero out to Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday afternoon.
“We talked about it last night and I just want Suero to go down and kind of regather himself a little bit, take a load off his mind,” the manager explained. “He’ll go down there and he won’t pitch obviously today or tomorrow, and then he’ll get back on the mound and start pitching, but just kind of get some confidence back and not put so much pressure on him.”
Martinez told reporters, and the reliever, what they want to see from Suero as he tries to straighten things out.
“I talked to him, he was very receptive, he said he needs to get better. I told him, I said, ‘You got to throw strikes, you’ve been behind a lot and I think it’s been causing you to get hit the way you’ve been getting hit. He understood, he said he’s going to work hard, and get back here as soon as possible.
“That’s all you can ask a player, and I told him, “It’s not like...’ — I had the same conversation with [Tanner] Rainey, ‘It’s not like we’re giving up on you, we need to get you right.’
“‘If you come back and you’re pitching well, things will change, and I want you guys to pitch in high-leverage situations and pitch in the back of the bullpen, so I want to get you comfortable doing that.’ So he was in agreement, and he’s going to go down and work and get back as soon as possible.”
René Rivera To The IL:
Veteran catcher René Rivera got hit with a pitch in Sunday’s series finale with the Chicago Cubs, and two days later, the Nationals placed the recently-turned 38-year-old catcher on the 10-Day IL (retroactive to Aug. 2) with what the team described in a press release as a right elbow contusion.
“We put him on the IL, his throwing elbow is sore. Very sore. So as a catcher, obviously he’s backing up, we need somebody that’s available,” Martinez explained.
“So we put him on the IL, we’re waiting to get — he took an MRI, we’re waiting on the doctor today, but he tried to throw today but he said he couldn’t do it, so we’ll see what happens when the doctor reads his MRI.”
In need of a catcher to work with Tres Barrera, the Nationals called up one of their recently-acquired backstops, Riley Adams, the 25-year-old receiver who came over from the Toronto Blue Jays in return for Brad Hand last week.
Adams, who was ranked the Nationals’ 13th prospect upon joining the organization, is a, “... 6-foot-4, 246-pound righty has hit .262 with a .363 on-base percentage and a .419 slugging percentage in 286 games across four professional seasons (2017–21),” as the Nats noted in their press release on the series of moves they made on Tuesday.
Why did they go with Adams, who played in one game at Triple-A Rochester after the trade, instead of ... say ... Keibert Ruiz, the catcher they acquired from LA in the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner trade?
Ruiz immediately became the No. 1 prospect in the Nats’ organization after the trade, but Martinez said they want him to get some consistent at bats at Triple-A for now.
“We wanted to get Riley up here, let Keibert play every day for now,” Martinez explained. “I like what Riley Adams has done, he’s got a lot of pop his bat, so he’ll get an opportunity to split time here with Barrera. He just showed up, I just had a conversation with him, seems like another good, fine young man, so looking forward to watching him play.”
And what in the way of a scouting report did the Nationals’ skipper have to offer?
“Pretty good power hitter, he’s a good catch-and-throw guy. So, we’re going to sit down with him, we’ll sit down with him today. I know [Bullpen Coach Henry Blanco] is going to talk to him a lot today, let him go over some of our pitching staff.
“I’ll dictate when he’s going to catch and get a start.
“Could be tomorrow, could be the next day, Thursday, I know we got a 4:00 game, but we’ll get him situated here, let him take some batting practice, let him move around a little bit and get him in the game.”
Praying Mantis + Victor Robles = Praying Robles? Victor Mantis?:
Surely you saw that praying mantis on Victor Robles’s hat which perched up there in the dugout and stayed there when he took the field on Monday night? If not:
Victor Robles literally has a mantis on his hat in the outfield. Uh. pic.twitter.com/lFZKhbtIik— Blake Finney (@FinneyBlake) August 3, 2021
Davey Martinez saw it.
“I saw it,” he told reporters before Tuesday’s game. “It was on his hat, actually, before he put it on, and he kept it on and it stayed on.”
And it was a biggun.
“It was big. Did you see how big that thing was? Probably one of the biggest ones I’ve ever seen,” Martinez said incredulously.
“I wouldn’t want it on my hat.”
Why is he afraid of bugs or something?
“I’m not afraid of it, but I mean, I don’t want to carry the thing around, I would put him up somewhere.”
Then a second later ... Martinez continued:
“Okay, what if you’re out there running, and the ball is hit to you, and it falls, and you step on it? I’d feel bad.”
But it’s just a bug, a reporter said.
“It’s a pretty bug,” the manager responded.