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Washington Nationals news & notes: Davey Martinez talks adding Jake McGee, DFA-ing Donovan Casey + more...

Highlights from Davey Martinez’s media availability on Tuesday...

Donovan Casey From LA to DFA:

One of four players acquired (along with catcher Keibert Ruiz and pitchers Josiah Gray and Gerardo Carrillo) from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2021 deadline deal for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, 26-year-old outfielder Donovan Casey was DFA’d by Washington’s Nationals on Tuesday.

The Nationals needed to make room on their 40-man roster for the addition of left-handed reliever Jake McGee, who was claimed on outright waivers from Milwaukee.

Casey put up a combined .269/.329/.430 line with 26 doubles and 16 home runs in the 123 games and 532 plate appearances he had at Double-A in the Dodgers’ farm system, and at Double- and Triple-A with the Nationals last season.

Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle Jamie Germano / USA TODAY NETWORK

This year, in 67 games and 252 PAs back at Triple-A Rochester, he had a .219/.283/.364 line, nine doubles, and six home runs on the year before the decision by the Nats yesterday.

“Casey struggled a little bit,” big league skipper Davey Martinez explained after the club’s decision to designate Casey for assignment last night. “They worked diligently with him.

“But we still feel like he can be a part of what we’re doing, but we needed another spot and he was the guy we designated.”

As Martinez explained it, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, it was, “an organizational decision. It’s always tough when you have to designate somebody. But it’s not the end-all. You’ve still got to work hard. We’ll see what happens in the future, but he’s got to continue to work. All of a sudden something clicks, and you find it. He’s got tons of ability. We know that. Something clicks, he finds it, and he gets an opportunity to play up here.”

McGee - aka A Lefty!:

“It would be nice to have one, but like I said, we got through it with the guys we’ve got,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said of the lack of any lefties in his bullpen during the series in Los Angeles late last month.

“And I got a lot of confidence in these guys. They’ve been pitching well throughout the whole year, the bullpen, and they’ve been facing some tough left-handers.”

But still, as he said, it would be nice to have one, and the Nationals found one, a left-hander that is, on the waiver wire yesterday, when they claimed a reliever, Jake McGee, on outright waivers from Milwaukee.

McGee was DFA’d by the Brewers over the weekend, after he’d been released by the Giants earlier this season, with the recently-turned 36-year-old southpaw posting a combined 7.00 ERA between the two teams in 30 games and 27 IP this season.

Martinez, and pitching coach Jim Hickey, both had McGee when the Nats’ skipper was the bench coach in Tampa Bay and Hickey was on Joe Maddon’s staff with the Rays as well, so they think they might be able to get McGee back on track. (And he did put up a 2.70 ERA, and a 2.93 FIP in 80 IP between 2020-21).

Colorado Rockies v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

“He became available, as you know, we have no lefties in our bullpen,” Martinez said before last night’s game in Chicago’s Wrigley Field.

“He’s a veteran guy, felt like the last couple months we could give him an opportunity here and maybe we could straighten him out and do something for him, you know.

“So I think that was the whole plan.”

“I love Jake McGee,” Martinez added. “I had him in Tampa, Hickey’s had him, so we felt like maybe he could come here and help straighten.”

As for what, if anything, they saw and thought they could fix?

“We’re looking at a bunch of different things,” Martinez said.

“We haven’t assessed really one thing, but I mean, for me he was a big fastball guy, a real top of the zone fastball guy. Looked like, after watching a couple videos he was trying to throw the ball down, you know, so now for me, we’ve got to get him back up, get him to use his four-seamer a lot more and go from there and we’ll see where he’s at with his breaking pitches.”