WASHINGTON – The lines of communication between Nationals manager Davey Martinez and his counterpart at Triple-A Rochester may be working overtime this week.
That is because Dee Strange-Gordon, a veteran infielder/outfielder who turned 34 on Friday, began a rehab assignment on Tuesday with the Red Wings in upstate New York.
The manager for Rochester is Matt LeCroy, a former catcher for the Twins and Nationals.
“I will stay in touch with Matt and see how (Strange-Gordon) does every day,” Martinez said here Tuesday afternoon before the Nationals began a three-game series with the Miami Marlins.
A Florida native, Strange-Gordon went on the Injured List on April 15 for an unreported reason.
“We miss him a lot,” Martinez said, with the tarp on the field after a light Tuesday rain. “We value what he can do for us.”
A versatile player, Strange-Gordon is hitless in three at-bats with the Nationals this year. He broke into the majors in 2011 with the Dodgers and has played second, short, center, and left during his career.
“He came in (Monday) and took some ground balls,” Martinez said Tuesday, with his team trying to snap a five-game losing streak.
“We are going to have to build him up. He didn’t do too much (since April 15). He is built for speed.”
Strange-Gordon has even pitched one inning for the Nationals this year in a blowout.
He has played in 1005 games in the majors and has 333 steals with a batting average of .286. He played in 33 games with Seattle last season.
Rochester is 9-9 going into play Tuesday with a series this week at home against Syracuse, which is 6-11.
The probable starter for the Red Wings on Tuesday is Luis Reyes, 27, who is from the Dominican Republic.
He was 0-1 with an ERA of 12.54 in his first three starts this season.
The top hitters for the Red Wings through Tuesday included outfielder Nick Banks, who was batting .353; Jake Noll, who was hitting .294, and infielder Luis García, who was batting .324 and was named the International League player of the week earlier this month.
García made his Major League debut with the Nationals in 2020 at Baltimore and also saw time in Washington last year.