Riley And Keibert:
Davey Martinez wanted Riley Adams to work with Patrick Corbin again last night, given the success the southpaw has had with the big backstop behind the plate, relative to his struggles when working with catcher Keibert Ruiz. But if he did go with Adams, Martinez was asked before the series opener with the New York Mets in D.C., did that mean Adams, the clear No. 2 catcher, would end up in 2 of 3 games in the series, with a day game after a night game in the second and third matchups of the three-game set?
“Not necessarily,” the Washington Nationals’ fifth-year manager said.
“Keibert is young enough where he can catch, yeah, so, we’ll take a look at it,” Martinez told reporters.
“I like Riley catching Corbin, they work good together, let’s go out today, and go 1-0 today, and then obviously Keibert will catch tomorrow, and we haven’t made a decision on who’s going to catch the third day.”
Ruiz, 23, is 23 for 87 (.264/.301/.368) with six doubles, a home run, four walks, and nine Ks in 23 games and 93 PAs on the season, with all four of his walks over his last 10 games, in which he’s gone 11 for 37 (.297/.381/.460) with three of his six doubles, his first homer, and just three Ks in 42 PAs.
Adams, 25, homered in last night’s game, and in limited action early this season, he’s 6 for 33 (.182/.250/.364) with two homers, two walks, and 11 Ks in 36 PAs.
Martinez did acknowledge that it’s a luxury he can potentially go with Ruiz in a day game after a night game since he’s still young and capable of bouncing back even with the real quick turnaround.
“100%,” he joked. “I couldn’t do that to [Kurt] Suzuki.”
Nelson Cruz’s two-hit game in the series opener with the Mets was just his third multi-hit game in 28 games played so far this season, and it extended what is now a modest four-game hit streak for the 41-year-old, 18-year veteran, who is just 18 for 106 (.170/.258/.255), with three homers, 13 walks, and 24 Ks in 121 PAs on the year.
Cruz, who signed a 1-year/$15M free agent deal to become the Nationals’ DH, hasn’t had the start he or the team wanted, but as Martinez said, before the first of three against New York in D.C., he isn’t going to get sorted out sitting on the bench, so he’s going to keep pencilling the slugger into the lineup.
“I talk to Nelson all the time, and we need him,” the manager said. “He’s not going to get the reps by sitting him, so — but I’ve talked to him and he understands that if he needs a day, and all he has to do is ask me. And if I deem he needs a day — but he’s been good. He had a little bit of a back stiffness, so he missed [games in Colorado], for him that was his rest, so he was back in there, I thought he swung the bat a lot better in Anaheim, so hopefully he continues to get better and helps us win games.”