Before the first of two with the Seattle Mariners last night, the Washington Nationals made a series of roster moves:
- Recalled catcher Riley Adams from Triple-A Rochester
- Returned from rehabilitation assignment and reinstated right-handed pitcher Erick Fedde from the 15-day Injured List
- Designated right-handed pitcher Tyler Clippard for assignment
- Optioned catcher Tres Barrera to Triple-A Rochester (Monday, August 22)
Fedde got the start last night in T-Mobile Park. Barrera was sent down on the off-day on Monday, Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez explained, to be sure he was eligible to be called back up on September 1st if they decided to. Adams was optioned out to Triple-A late in June, with the club hoping to get him regular at-bats and reps at first base, and he dealt with a wrist issue while in Rochester, but got back to work and got the call again.
“We’ve always had in mind to bring him back, we wanted — as I talked about — to get him a bunch of at-bats,” Martinez told reporters before last night’s opener with the Ms. “And we thought that it was time to get him back up here and get him some reps up here. So, it was good to see him. It kind of stinks for Tres [Barrera], but I told Tres to go down there and get going again. He was swinging the ball well down there, and lack of just — only playing just once a week, we just want to kind of get him at-bats as well. Riley has done well, I think he deserves to be back up here, so he’s going to get an opportunity to catch today, and get him right back in there, and then let’s see how it goes.”
Adams hit .224 with eight doubles and four homers in 29 games and 123 plate appearances with the Nationals’ top minor league affiliate, after he hit .192 with a double and three home runs in 27 games and 88 PAs over the first few months in the majors this season.
“The plan was to get him down there and get him 150 at-bats or so,” Martinez explained.
“We did do that. He ... was hitting the ball really well until he hurt his wrist, and then now he’s slowly but surely getting back, getting his swing back, we think he has potential to really hit the ball a long way, and with that being said, he could potentially hit a lot of doubles, but could end up being some home runs as well. We saw a little bit of that down in the minor leagues, so we’re hoping that he comes up here and he can continue to do that and give us a little bit of power down at the bottom of our lineup.”
Tyler Clippard pitched for the Nationals between 2008-14, and he returned to the club this season, worked his way up from Triple-A, and got off to a good start, but struggled after he returned from an injury, and he was designated for assignment by the Nationals before last night’s game.
It’s never easy letting a player know they’ve been DFA’d, but a 37-year-old, with history with the organization, and a well-liked, “good guy”, that all makes it a little tougher.
“Very tough,” Martinez acknowledged. “I respect Clippard very much. And I respect him for what he actually did this year, which was to go down to Triple-A, get himself ready, worked really hard to get back up here, that’s a testament to who he is, but you know we had to make a decision. I think at this point we got a lot of guys that we really want to see, and continue to see, and we wanted to give him an opportunity to maybe get hooked up with another team.
“It’s tough. One of the toughest things in the business for me is having to do that, especially when a guy is so respectful and had an unbelievable career. Those things are tough, but we’re trying to look at some guys for the future, and that’s the only reason why we had to make that decision.”
Middle Infield Dreaming:
Luis García landing on the IL earlier this month led to CJ Abrams getting the call back up to the majors after he started at Triple-A in the Nationals’ system following the trade deadline deal which brought him to Washington’s organization from San Diego.
Davey Martinez told García, his 22-year-old infielder, as García went on the Injured List, he would be shifting to second base, with the newly-acquired 21-year-old Abrams taking over at shortstop for the remained of the season.
“I talked to him ... and I told him, I said, ‘Hey, you will move to second base, and I want you to play second base,’” Martinez told reporters.
“So when we start getting him back on the field he’ll take his ground balls over at second.”
“Watching these guys all play together, and grow together, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” he added. “It’ s going to be some work, a lot of work, but it’s going to be fun.”
García rested the groin injury he suffered, and then began ramping up for his return, and the Nats’ fifth-year skipper said his infielder is fully on-board with the decision to shift him from short to second.
“He’s been great. He’s been awesome,” Martinez said.
“He’s a young kid who just wants to play. We’re fortunate that he can play both, but he’s looking forward to playing second base next to CJ.”
With experience at second from his first two big league seasons in 2020-21, and a strong work ethic, Martinez said he was comfortable the routine García’s developed with all the Nationals’ coaches would translate as he works getting comfortable at second base again.
“In working at shortstop and in doing his routine, he’s got a good routine that he does, and [Bench/Infield Coach Tim Bogar] and [Third Base/Infield Coach Gary DiSarcina] have worked really good with him. But it’s nice when you get a kid that really wants to work, you know, and you don’t have to push him to get out there, and we have those here.”
García went 0 for 4 with a K in his first rehab start for Rochester on Tuesday night.
The plan, as laid out by the manager, is for García to play at Triple-A through Thursday, before, barring any issues or setbacks, he returns to the Nationals on Friday night.