Outfielder Juan Soto went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Wednesday in the Nationals 3-1 loss to the Padres. But he surged out of the gates, making three starts in a row and reaching base in six of his first 10 plate appearances.
He is hitting .300 (3-for-10) with a homer, three RBIs and a 1.062 OPS. May 22 he walked three times, including a huge walk in the ninth inning that led to the walk-off run, 2-1.
“I think that you recognize plate discipline and a way of attacking pitchers,” said general manager Mike Rizzo. “I think it shows in the type of approach that he has. It’s a quiet approach. He sees the pitches better, knowing the strike zone better, getting out of the way of pitches is often a byproduct of that where you are not diving in and having to react quickly.”
Lost in the hoopla of Soto arrival May 20, manager Davey Martinez made a comment about the club’s minor league depth.
“We had a kid yesterday that didn’t get a chance to pitch but Jefry Rodriguez, he’s done well in the minor leagues,” Martinez said. “We got Victor (Robles) that’s going to be healthy. There’s a lot of guys down there, (Luis) Garcia. I could name tons of guys. This organization is built for not just this year but for many years.”
Garcia is a third baseman for the low Single-A Hagerstown, slashing .244/.291/.325. He is 18 years old and was born in New York City. He has had at least one base hit in six of his last eight games.
Rodriguez, 24, has gone 3-3 with a 3.94 ERA in nine games, with 44 strikeouts in 45 innings, with 19 walks.
And Martinez with the most positive comment regarding Victor Robles and his hyperextended elbow. There might be a way to get Robles back by the end of the season.
Also, with the club playing Miami next, there might be a Daniel Murphy sighting in South Florida because he has been rehabbing in West Palm Beach. Martinez said Murphy has been battling a “horrible bug” this last week. Hopefully he is better this weekend and can resume his knee rehab with baseball activities. I will be heading to Miami early Friday to report on his progress and the club’s series against the Marlins.