MIAMI – There was a noticeable change in the Nationals clubhouse at loanDepot Park this afternoon. Jake Alu had a locker and Joey Meneses didn’t.
At first, it seemed like a curious development. But it turns out to be a joyous roster move.
The Nationals announced that Meneses has been placed on the paternity list with his fiancé, Mitzy Guzman, giving birth to the couple’s first child, Joseph, today. Alu rejoins the Nats to take his spot on the roster.
“Joey went on their (paternity) list today,” manager Davey Martinez said to begin his pregame media session. “His wife's expecting, so we will find out more here hopefully soon. Jake Alu is on his way. So when we get him here, we'll make that move.”
Meneses is eligible to return to the active roster on Saturday against the Tigers.
Alu arrived while the Nats were taking batting practice, with the move being made official about 30 minutes after Martinez spoke. He returns after making his major league debut on May 9 at San Francisco and making three starts in left field before being optioned to Triple-A Rochester on May 15. He recorded his first hit on May 12 against the Mets, a line-drive single to left field. He also had a stolen base, a walk and a spectacular diving catch in the outfield in his first game at Nationals Park.
“Yeah, yeah, we get him back,” Martinez said. “I love the way he plays the game and I know he's gonna swing the bat well for us. He's a guy that's very versatile. He can play multiple positions, so it'd be nice to have him.”
With Meneses out tonight and Alu no sure thing to arrive in time from upstate New York, Martinez had to shuffle around his lineup for the second game against the Marlins.
Corey Dickerson, in his first game back from being reinstated from the injured list on Monday, is starting as the designated hitter and batting sixth, while Ildemaro Vargas starts in left and bats seventh.
“He's DHing today. So it's good to get him back in there, yeah,” Martinez said of Dickerson. “And for me, it's about the hitting. We need that left-handed bat in there today and I'm going to ease his way back in there. But he gets the chance to DH today.”
It actually worked out that Meneses went on the paternity list so Dickerson could DH tonight, easing his way back into game action after his calf injury.
“Especially playing on turf, too,” Martinez said. “So to get him out there and get him to DH to get him back acquainted and playing and playing nine innings, it will be good just to DH.”
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