Martinez on Turner, Murphy, Roark, Glover and a beloved coach

NEW YORK - First baseman Ryan Zimmerman was running the bases during batting practice again today. He is still on schedule for a rehab assignment early next week, and hopes to be activated on Friday, July 20.

The high Single-A Potomac Nationals announced that right-hander Koda Glover will be with them on a rehab assignment for their game Saturday against Frederick.

Glover made two appearances with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Nationals July 7 and 10, striking out four, allowing no runs over two innings of work.

Nationals manager Davey Martinez said there will be a good amount of rehab games for Glover to test out his right shoulder. And that could take at least a month.

“For me, it’s based on he’s going through spring training,” Martinez said. “We got guys in spring training getting eight or nine appearances. That’s basically what we are looking at.

“The whole basis of him staying in Florida was to really get him honed down, ready, so when he does come up here, he’s up here and there are no more injuries. Because he has had that problem. We want to make sure that he is good and ready to go.”

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg will appear with the P-Nats for a Sunday rehab start.

* As the Nats prepare to face right-hander Noah Syndergaard, Martinez put together a lineup of almost all left-handed hitters, the exceptions being Anthony Rendon and the pitcher’s spot.

“Tough opponent today,” Martinez said. “Lefties have good slug against him, so start off, try to score early. Put our best lefties in there, see what happens.”

Martinez has given shortstop Trea Turner a day off to rest. Turner is hitting just .138 in his last seven games.

“Very important (day off). He deserves it,” Martinez said. “He’s played unbelievably the first half. I wanted to get him days off before. It was tough. But this is well deserved.”

Was Turner pressing because of the All-Star final vote? Or was he so determined to make an impact with each at-bat?

“We talked about it,” Martinez said. I think he was just trying to help us win games. He’s come up in some big situations. I think he just wanted to come through. That happens in the course of a year.”

Roark-Pitch-Gray-Atl-sidebar.jpgRight-hander Tanner Roark gets the nod after allowing 13 runs and 20 hits over 11 innings in his last two starts. Martinez spoke with the veteran this week to try to iron out some issues that are affecting his mechanics.

“I think he’s going to be good today,” Martinez predicted. “I really do. We talked about location, throwing strikes, strike one. I’m expecting him to be the old Tanner and go out there and give us a good game and keep us in the ball game.”

Some believe that Roark might be tipping his pitches. Martinez does not.

“No, we looked at more his mechanics, slowing him down a little bit, especially when the moment is big,” Martinez said. “Just get him to kind of relax and stay in that moment. Don’t try get three outs with one pitch. One pitch at a time. I’m looking forward to him going out there and doing what he can do.”

* Second baseman Daniel Murphy is starting to get on track at the plate. He is hitting .474 the last seven games. Thursday he had single in the second inning, and later walked twice.

“He’s getting to that Murphy form,” Martinez said. “I’ve always said those guys that have had injuries like that and miss all of spring training, they got to go through that spring-training process. It’s not easy. He went through it. Now you are starting to see him really starting to swing the bat a lot better. For us, the biggest thing was getting him down, using his legs, and he’s starting to do that consistently.”

* Baseball sports psychologist Dr. Ken Ravizza passed away early this week at the age of 70. Ravizza worked with many major league baseball players on their mental approach to the game, and had a personal and profound effect on Martinez’s career as a player and now as a manager. To honor Ravizza, Martinez had the initials “KR” etched on his game cap last night and plans to do keep them there for the rest of the season.

“Honestly, I really believe that he’s a real big part why I’m managing today. He’s helped me throughout many different obstacles as a young player, a player, as a coach. Helped me understand players. Just an unbelievable person and greater friend.”

The Nats have a mental coach on staff. Reliever Justin Miller told me last month that this coach has helped him immensely to stay on point and focus on the next pitch. Martinez said his mental coach was a big part of his success as he grew up in the game.

“This game is a lot more mental than physical,” Martinez said. “It really is. Having these guys around where players can actually talk to one-on-one, and it’s confidential, I think it’s very important for the players this day and age. I’m not shy to say that I had one, I’m glad I did, and it was Kenny.”

blog comments powered by Disqus