The one thing Eaton has appreciated the most about Robles is that the youngster is not afraid to learn from his miscues in the outfield.
Eaton likes the upside ability Robles has. And that ability will shine through once Robles gets dozens of big league games under his belt, the veteran believes. Robles has made only 17 starts in two seasons in the outfield, with 12 of those coming in center field. Contrast that with the 22 games the young Dominican has played during this spring training.
“(I like) the way he’s learned,” Eaton said. “I think he’s got a lot to learn. He’s a young player. He’s experienced a lot in spring training. I think he’s taken a lot away from his failures as well as he had from successes, at least the way he has learned and the way he has approached the game.”
Eaton also thinks the young duo of Juan Soto (20 years old) and Robles will be a good combination in the outfield, even with their lack of experience. Eaton likened their experience so far as to what collegiate players would have in their second and third years.
“Very young player again, Soto and Robles. It’s unbelievable how young our outfield is. They bring the median down with me as a 30-year old,” Eaton said, smiling. “I don’t know if baseball thinks I’m young anymore, you know what I mean.”
Robles, Eaton added, has “learned a lot. He’s willing to learn. I think it’s going to be awesome what we’ll have going throughout the year with Soto and him really growing up before our eyes, so to speak, because they are still in college (age), realistically, which is crazy to me, in the big leagues and doing what they’re doing. Both are going to be great players and they’re going to learn a lot this season.”
* Left-hander Patrick Corbin got off to a couple of slow starts in his final two spring training outings. The Astros put together three runs and eight hits including a home run in the first four innings against Corbin Sunday. Nats manager Davey Martinez said that those results are not anything to get too alarmed about heading into games that count.
“No, I think it’s just him getting through spring training and trying different things,” Martinez said. “And he did that. (Sunday) we talked about just getting through that first (inning). I just wanted him to get through that first inning, and he was really good so I didn’t really look into that stuff. His stuff was really good (Sunday), so he’s ready to go.”
Martinez said he wanted to have the southpaw concentrate on his curveball and fastball during the Sunday start. The skipper believes that Corbin should feature his fastball more with the Nationals than he has in the past.
“He was working on throwing more curveballs and more fastballs. We’ve talked to him a lot about throwing a lot more fastballs, and he did that throughout the spring. For me and for him, it’s just he’s got such a good fastball, he really does. We felt like he should use it more, and he agreed. That’s something that he was working on.”