Martinez on Eaton, bench-clearing brawls, plus other notes

Nationals manager Davey Martinez had some good news on the progress of outfielder Adam Eaton who is on the disabled list with a left ankle bone bruise. Martinez predicted it might be a short stay on the 10-day for Eaton.

Eaton-Swings-Blue-Sidebar.jpg"I saw him today and he's getting his workouts in," Martinez said. "We miss him on the field, but it's actually pretty good that he's able to continue to do his strengthening for his knees. But he'll be back. I think he's going to be back sooner than we think. He's doing pretty good right now.

"We are trying to keep him off his foot for right now. But he said he felt really good today so we will see where he's at in the next day or two."

* Martinez put Matt Adams in left field to start for the second straight game. He played two games in left field during his tenure with the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The skipper was not concerned about Adams' ability to play defense at a position that he is not that familiar with working.

"I don't mind it. If you look at Gio's record he's a ground ball guy," Martinez said. "So I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to put him out there in left field. He hit a home run for us yesterday, he's been swinging the bat well, so give him a shot and let him go out there and play."

Another reason was to give Brian Goodwin a day of rest after the outfielder came down on his wrist, making a diving play, Wednesday in the loss to the Braves.

"He took a big spill, I'll be honest, his wrist was a little sore today, but he's available," Martinez said. "If need be, he will come off the bench, either to play defense or pinch-hit in a big moment."

* Trea Turner also got moved up to leadoff for Thursday's opener against Colorado. Martinez likes Turner's on-base ability.

"He's been working all spring with (hitting coach Kevin) Long on getting pitches to hit in the strike zone and he's done a good job," Martinez said. "For me, Trea is a pure hitter. When he gets a strike or he thinks he's got a ball he can hit, we want him to swing. We don't necessarily want him to walk, but walks are good for him because it creates havoc on the bases."

* For second time in a week the bullpen used six relievers in a 12-inning game. Is Martinez concerned he might overuse the pen in April?

"You have to have confidence in all the guys in the bullpen which I do," he said. "You hope you get days like Max and Stras. But also you get blowouts too. But we got to give these guys days off and limit their innings now because they are important later on and you want to keep them fresh."

* The Rockies were involved in a bench-clearing brawl against the San Diego Padres involving third baseman Nolan Arenado charging the mound at a game in Denver on Wednesday.

Nationals manager Davey Martinez played in the major leagues for 16 years. He gave his take from experience on bench-clearing brawls and retaliation in games.

"During the course of a game, you compete, and people get competitive," Martinez said. "When something happens or somebody gets hit, and next thing you know the ball goes behind somebody, you think it's on purpose, and then I kid you not, you lose your mind and you just react. I'll have to watch what happened, (Wednesday at Coors Field) I think that's basically what happened. I still feel like it's still part of the game. You are out there competing, trying to do the best that you can and those things happen.

"It all depends on how you feel and what you feel. I've been in instances where you don't think something is going to happen and a guy is out there pitching and he decides he's going to hit somebody because of what happened two days ago, three days ago or yesterday. It all depends on how your feeling and how you personally took it.

"Apparently, (Arenado) didn't take it well and it led to a lot of people getting ejected. I come from an era where it seemed like it happened more often than it does now but I still think it's part of the game."

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