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Rogers joins Nationals, will start nightcap vs. Mets

The Nationals have selected the contract of left-hander Josh Rogers from Triple-A Rochester, and he will be the 29th man for today's doubleheader against the Mets and will start the nightcap.

"He'll start the second game," manager Davey Martinez said during his morning Zoom briefing with reporters. "Four-pitch mix and he throws strikes. ... Wanna give him a shot and see what he can do."

Rogers, 27, was 7-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 14 games, including 13 starts, for Rochester this season. He signed a minor league contract with the Nationals on June 4, three days after being released by the Orioles.

Thumbnail image for Martinez-Looks-From-Dugout-White-Sidebar.jpgIt became clear that Rogers might join the Nats when the Red Wings scratched him from a scheduled Friday start. Tonight's outing will be his first major league appearance since 2019, when he went 0-1 with an 8.79 ERA in five relief outings with the Orioles.

Rogers is 1-3 with an 8.79 ERA in parts of two major league seasons with Baltimore, and he made three starts in 2018 after being acquired from the Yankees in a trade for reliever Zack Britton.

In his last three starts for the Red Wings, Rogers allowed two runs on 17 hits over 15 1/3 innings. So him being lined up to pitch and being on a roll meshed with the Nationals' need for a starter.

"He's had some success," Martinez said. "He throws his fastball down in the zone and he can elevate. He's got a good changeup, slider, curveball. So he's got all four pitches, but the biggest thing is they said he attacks the strike zone really well. So I'm looking forward to watching him pitch today."

To make room on the 28-man roster for Rogers, the Nationals moved right-hander Kyle McGowin from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL, effectively ending his season one day after announcing he'd be sidelined with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

* Second baseman Luis García continues to punish left-handed pitching. He doubled twice off Mets southpaw Rich Hill on Friday night and is now slashing .333/.366/.534 off lefties this season.

During the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, the left-handed-hitting García did just the reverse, torching right-handers at a .323/.356/.444 clip while struggling to a .143/.143/.143 slash line versus righties. This season, right-handers are holding the 21-year-old to a .175/.231/.289 line.

The reverse splits don't concern Martinez.

"He hit lefties in the minor leagues as well," Martinez said. "He's getting balls middle-in where he can handle (them). He's putting a good swing on them, so I hope he continues to do that. Against lefties, we often talk about left-on-left, you've gotta be aggressive, especially with the fastballs, and he's been doing that."

For a naturally aggressive hitter, that can translate into success.

"You really gotta be ready for the fastball," Martinez said. "You wanna start trying to stay away with sliders and breaking balls (and) get a fastball in the zone. Because he's so aggressive early in the zone, he's getting pitches to hit."




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