Nationals manager Davey Martinez had an update on center fielder Victor Robles as he continues recovery from a tweaked right hamstring suffered in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Dodgers.
“We are going to run him a little bit today, get some treatment,” Martinez said during a conference call. “Tomorrow he will participate in BP and do a little running. And we will see where we are at tomorrow. I’m not going to anticipate anything until he comes in tomorrow. But he’s progressing and hopefully he will be ready tomorrow.”
Michael A. Taylor hit a solo shot in the third inning Saturday. He has also done a nice job on defense, replacing Robles in center field, except for one misplay late last night. But Martinez said today that when Robles is healthy, he would return as his starting center fielder.
“Victor has been in center field all year, and he’s played really well for us,” Martinez said. “When he’s healthy, he’ll get a chance to play. But like I said before, we want him to be at 100 percent. So until then, we’ll see what happens here in the next day or so.”
* In the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 2, Martinez opted to call on left-hander Patrick Corbin, his Game 4 starter, to face left-handed hitter Kolten Wong. Corbin induced a ground ball out to second base for the first out of the frame. Martinez then went to Daniel Hudson for the final two outs of the game. Martinez said the coaching staff spoke to Corbin pregame and decided to use the actual game appearance as part of his scheduled bullpen session on his off-day.
“Yesterday he was scheduled to throw a bullpen,” Martinez said. “Obviously, he’s pitching Game 4 so we had discussions before the game with him if he wanted to just hold back in case we needed him. So happens he was able to get an out for us but he was going to throw a side after the game. I just thought just get him in the game and be done with it. It was a great opportunity for him to face (Kolten) Wong right there.”
But Martinez made the point that with Corbin starting Tuesday night, Roenis Elías will have to be called upon for lefty-lefty matchups to get big outs the next few days.
Teammate Sean Doolittle said Corbin might start enjoying the quick adrenaline rush relievers get from getting into games for short stints, getting outs, and getting rest. Corbin has now made three relief appearances this postseason. Against the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLDS on October 9, the lefty starter recorded four huge outs to keep the Nats in the game.
“Yeah man, I was joking with him that after Game 5,” Doolittle said. “I told him, you’re more than welcome down in the bullpen anytime. During Game 5, he really got a taste of bullpen life. He had warmed up, I think, three times before he went into the game. But then he went in the game, and he was absolutely lights out. His stuff was electric.
“I was joking with him, once we found out he was going to be in the bullpen for Game 2, that he was an adrenaline junkie, and now he can’t get enough of it. Like I said, we’re more than happy to have him or any of those guys down there for that matter.”