Martinez on roster moves and Nats’ new initiative

CINCINNATI – There was a good amount of pregame news ahead of the Nationals’ second game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Some were baseball related. Some were more important than baseball.

Starting on the diamond, the Nationals made a handful of roster moves before today’s game. They recalled right-hander Andres Machado from Triple-A Rochester and placed left-hander Josh Rogers on the 15-day injured list with a left shoulder impingement, leaving no lefties in the bullpen for tonight.

Machado rejoins the Nats for his third stint this season, in which he has a 5.40 ERA with 10 strikeouts and seven walks in 12 appearances. Rogers has a 5.13 ERA in 16 games (three starts) with the Nats and was charged with two runs after serving up a three-run home run to Kyle Farmer while only recording two outs last night.

“He went on the IL with a little bit of impingement in his left shoulder. So we'll see,” manager Davey Martinez said during his pregame media session. “He's gonna get an MRI tomorrow and we'll see how he's doing tomorrow. But we brought in Machado to fill that void as well.”

Martinez mentioned yesterday that lefty Evan Lee could be used out of the ‘pen on his bullpen day, but that isn’t until tomorrow. So how will the skipper use his relievers without a southpaw?

“I still feel like we got guys that can get lefties out,” Martinez said. “(Carl Edwards Jr.) being one of them. (Paolo) Espino has done a great job against lefties as well. And then back end guys who face both left and right. So I think we're going to be OK. It's nice to have. It was really nice to have Rogers that could do multiple things down there, give us length and also come in against lefties. But hopefully, it'll be OK and we get him back as soon as he's healthy. But those guys are more than capable of getting the job done.”

The Nationals also placed Dee Strange-Gordon on the paternity list after he and his wife, Jojo, welcomed their second child, Dash, this morning. To fill that roster spot, the Nats recalled Lucius Fox from Rochester.

“He texted me all these hours of the morning that his wife was having the baby,” Martinez said of Strange-Gordon. “And I want him to be there. He left, he had a little boy. His name's Dash. So congratulations to the family. But we need to get somebody up here that can do what Dee does, and Foxy is the guy. So hopefully, he should be here shortly to join us, so he can fill in that void till Dee gets back.”

Fox made it to Cincinnati in time and is available for tonight’s game.

* On a non-baseball and more important note, today the Nationals announced they have teamed up with other D.C. professional sports teams to support the gun violence prevention nonprofit Everytown on National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The Nationals along with the Capitals, Commanders, Mystics, Spirit, Wizards and D.C. Shadow committed a combined donation of more than $85,000 to Everytown for gun safety.

Gun Violence Awareness Day is also known as Wear Orange Day, with the Nationals wearing white T-shirts with “ENOUGH” spelled in orange font on the front during pregame warmups and around the clubhouse.

Martinez, also wearing the shirt, once again got very emotional when discussing this issue. Here are his quotes in full from his pregame press conference discussing the Nats’ new initiative, why this cause is so personal for him and what it means for the Nats to join with other D.C. teams to help our community.

On National Gun Violence Awareness Day:
“So, before we get started with anything, there's something that means more today than baseball itself. Today's National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The reason why we're wearing these T-shirts is because of the day. We joined hands with all the major sports in D.C. to raise money and raise awareness of gun violence. We will donate tons of money between all of us to a nonprofit organization called Everytown. But we think it's important that we get involved with what's going on in our country, in our region. So we want to make awareness that enough is enough. And that's where this T-shirt comes from. We have to do better. We have to do better for our kids, for our grandkids, family members, friends. It's tough, and reading about these things hits me and other people where it should. So we just want to get everybody involved. I mean, we got to start speaking out and doing the best we can to let people know that it's got to stop. And we got to do better. We definitely got to do better. So you'll see the guys out there today supporting "ENOUGH" and Everytown. It's a great organization. They are the largest national gun violence awareness (organization). So they do a great job. And I thank them for doing this and participating and letting people know that they want change. And one thing I want to say is, to the victims and their families: I'm sorry. I'm sorry they gotta go through that. It's tough. But let's not let it happen again. Let's do better. Let's do better. So that's all I got to say about that. I'm really sorry for those families.

On how this cause reaches him on a personal level:
“Yeah, I mean, you think about it, I've got kids, I've got grandkids, I've got family members. When you see these things and you feel for the people that have to go through these things, you're also thinking about the future of our country and what we're going through. And for me, it's all about change. It's all about common sense, right? Let's do things right. I often talk about how you need to be 25 years old to rent a car, but you can walk in anywhere at 18 years old and buy an AR rifle. Let's start using common sense.”

On the Nats joining with other D.C. Teams
“It's awesome. Honestly, we have one of the biggest gun violence crimes (rates) in the country. So for us to do this together, it shows a lot of unity in our city. And we believe in that. So for me, and to the fans - who I cherish, as you all know - this is a way for us to stand up. And stand up and stay in this fight. The biggest thing is to stay in this fight. Let people know that: Hey, we've had enough.”

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