Martinez says Voth will remain in rotation, start Friday

Manager Davey Martinez is not giving up on right-hander Austin Voth.

Pitching coach Paul Menhart, Voth and Martinez are working on trying to figure out how to get some more movement and cutting action on Voth's fastball. Voth wants to be able to alter the spin rate so that opposing hitters have a tougher time picking up his fastball.

Voth-Fires-Gray-Sidebar.jpgMartinez confirmed today that Voth will remain in the rotation and start one of the two games of the doubleheader Friday in Atlanta.

"He's going to throw another bullpen," Martinez said during a pregame Zoom video call from Philadelphia. "I saw some video, I talked to Paul. We are going to try to get him straightened out this week. We came into this season with him being our fifth starter. We lost Stephen Strasburg, which made Erick Fedde one of our starters again. Things could have been different if Stras was around.

"Voth did well for us and he's struggling now a little bit. I don't want to give up on him. I really don't. I want to see if we can't fix him and get him to where he was last year. We are going to work with him this week."

Without Joe Ross available this season and Strasburg on the shelf, the Nats have had to rely on Fedde and Voth being part of the regular starting rotation. Tonight's starter, Fedde, has done well, with a 1-2 record and a 3.57 ERA. But Voth has struggled, allowing 16 runs in his last three starts over just 9 2/3 innings.

"That was huge when he opted out," Martinez said of Ross. "We had penciled him in to be one of our starters this year. I support him in his decision, but he's not here. It was tough. Fedde has stepped up. We hoped that Voth could step up this year and it hasn't happened, but I still believe that if he goes out there and starts Friday and does well he's still got a few more starts to go out there and help us win."

Seth Romero had successful surgery on his right hand last week and is in Fredericksburg rehabbing. If all goes well, Martinez is hopeful the Nationals can get the left-hander back by the end of the month.

"He's in a cast," Martinez said. "He's got like a removable cast. But we are going to reassess him in two weeks. If the bone is healing, we are going to make a glove for him so he can put a glove on. He's throwing. He's keeping his arm in shape. He's doing everything he possibly can. Hopefully, if we get in the playoffs he could be somebody that we could use."

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