MIAMI - Nationals manager Davey Martinez said the Nats will not take the Marlins lightly despite their 4-15 start as they begin a three-game set indoors at Marlins Park. The Nats were 13-6 against thre Marlins last season. This is their first meeting in 2019.
“We got to concentrate on today,” Martinez said. “They understand that any given day we are facing a good opponent in Caleb Smith. So, we got to be ready to go. We got to play our kind of baseball.
“Every game matters. Regardless of who we play. They are in our division. We just got to go out there today and Aníbal (Sánchez) has to do his thing, keep us in the ball game and we got to score some runs.”
* The Nationals placed right-hander Austen Williams on the injured list prior to Friday’s opener at Miami, and have recalled right-hander Austin Adams from Triple-A Fresno. Martinez said Williams came to let him know after Wednesday’s outing that he wasn’t feeling 100 percent.
“He came in and said he was pretty sore,” Martinez said. “They took a look at it. It’s got a little stiffness. Best thing we could do is put him on the DL and let him get healthy. He’s a young guy that we want to make sure we take care of. He’s going to be with us and help us throughout the course of the year.
“(We) brought up Austin Adams who was really pitching well. I just want him to come in and continue to do the same thing up here and throw strikes. He’s done really well in Fresno.”
Adams got called up by Triple-A Fresno manager Randy Knorr at around 2:30 pm eastern time Thursday in Fresno. He took at 7:00 pm flight through Phoenix that got him to Miami at 8:30 am this morning.
“It’s all a blur right now,” Adams smiled about the red eye flights. “Very happy to be back. I just want to be here and whatever they need me to do, just help out.”
Martinez was impressed with what Adams has been able to do for Fresno since his move to Triple-A from spring training back in mid-March, and now he wants him to just go out and do the same thing with the Nats. The 27-year-old Adams earned a save and struck out 12 batters over six innings with the Grizzlies.
“For me, it’s just about using all his pitches,” Martinez said. “He’s got a really good slider. I told him you’re up here, you started out really, really well in Fresno. Don’t do anything different. Go out there and be yourself, go have fun and be ready to pitch. I said you are going to pitch so you got to be ready for that opportunity and just go out there, have fun, and throw strikes.”
Williams will stay with the club until Sunday and then move to the Nationals spring training facility in West Palm Beach to continue rehab.
* Martinez is more than likely to give closer Sean Doolittle the night off after two appearances in a row in the series win over the Giants.
“I would definitely like to stay away from him,” Martinez said. “He hasn’t thrown yet. He’s going out there as we speak right now. We’ll see what he says. But (Wander) Suero is pitching well, (Kyle) Barraclough’s pitching well. I think we are capable of covering in an inning or two tonight with those guys so. Hopefully Doo is OK, we’ll see.”
Martinez said Doolittle is always good about telling the skipper if he is available to pitch, even if it is a gut check moment. Martinez just wants to make sure he doesn’t burn out his most important bullpen arm before the 30 days of the season are completed.
“With him it’s all about communication,” Martinez said. “He’s really good about that. He’s not going to sugarcoat anything. He’s going to be as honest as he possibly can. Of course, he wants to do what’s best for the team. But I tell him this all the time, we got to keep you for the longevity, try to keep you healthy all year, 162 games and then some.
“I value his input. He knows himself better than anybody. He’s very honest. Somedays he says you know, I don’t feel great, but I’m available. Those are the days that we got to say those are the days that we really got to say, hey, he’s going to get up, get in and close the game out.”
And to that end, Martinez appears to have shifted gears on how they will use right-hander Joe Ross. The former starter has now not pitched in a game since April 9. There’s a very good chance Ross will pitch at some point tonight.
“I think after a lot of deliberation, we have to get him in a game so I might have to just use him as a one inning guy just to get him going,” Martinez said. “A lot of thought has been put into that. I looked at the lineup today, this is a pretty good lineup for him to maybe come in and give us an or even four outs if we need. I’m looking forward to watching him come out there today if we need him and let him pitch.”