2022 Nationals So Far:
Before Friday night’s matchup was postponed with a threat of severe weather in the nation’s capital, Washington Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez talked with reporters about what he has learned about his club since they first gathered in West Palm Beach back in mid-March.
Through 47 games, the club was 16-30, they were struggling to get their starters deep into games, searching for power, and so far this season performing about how the preseason prognosticators predicted when they looked at the roster the Nats put together in the first full season of the organizational reboot they kicked off at the trade deadline last July 30th.
Martinez’s take after the first two months of the 2022 campaign?
“I knew a lot about what we were getting ourselves into this Spring Training,” he said after the first back-to-back wins since the start of May, “and I’ve had conversations with all of them coming into the season that they were all going to get an opportunity to play, and they all understand that, and the biggest thing for me is how prepared they are, and how ready they are, even though if they don’t play for two or three days in a row, they get called up and they’re out there and they’re ready to perform. It’s been good. These guys have all been good. They all pull for each other no matter what. If they’re not playing, if they’re playing, they’re all pulling for one another, so I love the attitude of this team and how they go about their business every day. They work hard and they play hard, so I can’t complain about how they work and what they’re doing, and it’s nice to see we won a couple games, and let’s see if we can go out there today and repeat what we’ve done the last two days.”
They didn’t get to go out there on Friday night, but they came out swinging in the first of two on Saturday afternoon...
Kieboom Has TJS:
Carter Kieboom, 24, was diagnosed with a flexor mass strain early in Spring Training, and felt discomfort when he started throwing again and was diagnosed with a torn UCL in his right elbow earlier this month. He underwent Tommy John surgery on Friday.
“[Carter] had surgery today, I have not heard yet what the results were, so as soon as I know something I’ll let you know,” Martinez said late on Friday afternoon, when asked for updates on a number or injured/rehabbing Nationals.
On Saturday morning, before the first game of the club’s doubleheader with the Rockies, the fifth-year skipper said the surgery went well, as expected.
“The surgery went well,” Martinez told reporters, “they talked to Carter, he said he feels as good as expected, so they thought everything went well.
“So now it’s just about resting and getting him on a program to start rehabbing as soon as possible.”
The the process isn’t quite a long for a non-pitcher, but Kieboom is just at the start of a long rehab the club hopes will have him ready for Spring Training 2023.
“Right now I’m assuming that yes he should be ready for Spring Training if everything goes as planned,” Martinez explained, “so like I said, it’s a long road ahead of him, but he’s got to put the work in.”
Martinez also offered updates on a few injured pitchers who are down in West Palm Beach, FL working hard to get back into game shape as soon as possible.
Aníbal Sánchez, who was diagnosed with a cervical nerve impingement in his neck at the end of Spring Training, is finally throwing again after a slow healing process for the starter.
“He’s playing catch, he played catch up to 100 feet,” Martinez explained. “He’ll continue to do that, and hopefully sometime in the next week or so he’ll throwing his bullpens. But he feels a lot better. The pain in his neck has subsided, so he’s feeling a lot better.”
Meanwhile, hard-throwing reliever Hunter Harvey, who went on the IL back in late April with a right pronator strain, has started throwing as well.
“He’s throwing, he’s throwing bullpens,” Martinez said, “so we’re just trying to build him up. Him and Mason Thompson also, are throwing bullpens, so now it’s just a matter of building them up. Like I said, when these guys get hurt it’s almost like they’ve got to go through the whole Spring Training routine again. The next step for them will be to throw some live BPs, and continue to get built up.”
Thompson went on the IL with a right biceps strain in early April. He made two appearances out of the pen for the Nationals in his second season in D.C., after he was acquired from the San Diego Padres at last July 30th’s trade deadline.