Davey Martinez was excited to talk to two of the six players the Nationals received from the Padres in the Juan Soto/Josh Bell deadline deal earlier this week. Luke Voit and currently IL’d pitcher MacKenzie Gore met up with Washington in Philadelphia last night in advance of the Nationals’ series opener with the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park.
“It was awesome,” he said of meeting with the newest Nats. “I mean, just gave them a little bit of what we’re doing here and what we’re trying to do, and how they both fit really nicely with what we’re trying to do. So it was a great conversation. They’re both very good young gentlemen. Both can help us in big ways. So we’re excited. I know I’m excited to put Luke in the lineup today, and excited that MacKenzie is here, and he’s going to help us in the future and he’s a big part of our future as well.”
Gore, who went on the IL with inflammation in his left elbow late last month, so when he will be able to contribute to the cause is unclear, but Voit, the one veteran included in the big deal on Tuesday, came to play.
“I’m just excited for a fresh start, know I’m going to be in the lineup every day, whether that’s first or DH, and just go out there and give it my all,” the 31-year-old, six-year veteran said.
Voit came over from the Padres with a .225/.317/.416 line, 18 doubles, and 13 home runs in 82 games and 344 plate appearances on the season. When he’s going well at the plate, he said, he’s in the zone, literally though, as in in the strike zone.
“Just, honestly, not chasing,” Voit said. “Swinging at pitches in the zone and doing damage on it. Over the last like 3-4 weeks I’ve made some adjustments, and I’ve been hitting the ball a lot harder, my swing and miss rate has been down, and been having really good at-bats, so I’m excited to continue that into these next two months.”
Voit singled off Noah Syndergaard and drove in a run in his first at-bat with the Nats, and then singled off the right field fence and scored the third time up.
“He’s a professional hitter,” Martinez said after a rain-shortened, 5-4 loss. “He drove in the first run for us, which was awesome, and then he comes up, and Syndergaard was throwing breaking balls, and he made an adjustment and hit the ball off the wall to right field. We knew that about him, like I said, he’s a big bat for us, he had a great first day.”
“It was fun tonight,” Voit told reporters after his debut with the Nats, as quoted by MASN’s Bobby Blanco. “Obviously it sucks we lost, but all the guys seem like they’re having a bunch of fun, and I just want to be a part of it.
“I had fun tonight, the coaches were great to me and everyone was pretty cool. So I enjoyed it.”
Voit and his new teammates are back at it again tonight…
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE 2ND OF 4 WITH THE PHILLIES: