First baseman Ryan Zimmerman - on the injured list since April 28 with plantar fasciitis in his right foot - and first base coach Tim Bogar were working on the field during pregame at first base with Gerardo Parra and Juan Soto. They were relaying pointers and defensive strategies for positioning and glove awareness unique to playing first base.
Martinez said Zimmerman is “going to get loose today, do everything again. He’s thinking about running on the field. But we’ll see (where) he’s at. He’s taking a lot of ground balls, he’s hitting. Running is the last thing, so hopefully today ... he starts running a little bit. We’ll see how he feels after he runs.”
Parra is playing first base for the first time since 2016. Martinez said it’s all about the veteran getting reps at first base.
“We feel like he’s done really well over there,” Martinez said. “He’s made some good plays. He’s thrown the ball to second base really well. He has a really, really good understanding of hitting over there. But he likes to work. So Bogar brought him out there and they’re just working.”
* Martinez has Victor Robles back in the lineup. The outfielder sat out Saturday due to soreness in his left wrist following a hit by pitch Friday. Robles turns 22 today.
“He went out and hit and felt good, so he is back in there,” Martinez said.
The skipper has Robles in the No. 9 hole in the batting order, putting starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson in front of him in the lineup.
“He was doing well down there,” Martinez said. “Like I said, it’s like having another leadoff hitter.”
* Martinez reported that the Nationals are sending reliever Trevor Rosenthal, on the IL since April 26 with a viral infection, to Double-A Harrisburg to continue his rehab assignment. He will catch up with the team in Akron, Ohio. The skipper is hoping Rosenthal pitches for the Senators on Monday.
“He is going to throw another inning, and then we will reevaluate after that,” he said. Martinez said Rosenthal has made progress in his rehab appearances this past week.
“The biggest thing was he was able to repeat his delivery, which was kind of nice,” Martinez said. “His misses are up and down, which is a norm. But he is doing a lot better. I watch video, and his mechanics are pretty good right now. He threw a side today, looked really good, so he’ll go back out to Harrisburg in Akron and throw another inning.”
So is Rosenthal in the plans to return soon, or will he take the complete 30-day rehab?
“Yeah, I think he’s really close, so we will see how this next outing goes for him,” Martinez said.
* Left-hander Tony Sipp (strained oblique, May 7) threw one inning of rehab Saturday, allowing one hit and striking out two with no walks with high Single-A Potomac in their game against Wilmington. Martinez said Sipp has the day off today and will be reevaluated Monday.
* First baseman Matt Adams (left shoulder strain, May 5) took swings today, according to Martinez.
“Swung the bat, getting close. Depending on how he feels tomorrow, he may actually take batting practice and do everything on the field (at New York). We’ll see how he feels then.”
* Outfielder Andrew Stevenson (back spasms, May 7) is headed to Triple-A Fresno to begin his rehab.
* Martinez said the Nats’ strategy against right-hander Kyle Hendricks tonight is to try to get to him early on.
“We talk about it. You can’t try to pull him,” Martinez said. “You got to get the ball up. He’s going to throw a lot of strikes, so we got to be aggressive. We want to be aggressive up in the strike zone. He throws the ball down. It’s got a lot of movement. Just want to try to be aggressive and jump on him early.”