When the Nationals depth chart for starting pitchers was projected for the season, Austin Voth was not even in the top eight players. He was behind Joe Ross, Erick Fedde, and Kyle McGowin. Because of rainouts and the decision to use Ross in a relief role on Saturday, Voth got his callup and shined in his 2019 debut. He impressed so much against the Braves that general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez named him the fifth starter in this vaunted rotation, and the team sent Fedde packing. There is only one way to stay as they say and that is to continue to impress. Voth will have to show today that his debut game was not a fluke. The righthander was pitching on four days of extra rest in his start on Sunday. Today, Voth pitches on one day of extra rest.
The Tigers will be pitching a bullpen game today with the left-handed Gregory Soto going on short rest as their starter. Soto just pitched for the Tigers’ affiliate in Toledo four days ago, and the Tigers only expect him to go a few innings. Soto has difficulty with locating, and the Nationals batters have to work the walks and not chase pitches out of the zone.
With a lefty starting basically in a role of an “opener”, does Davey Martinez go with Zimmerman again or the red hot Matt Adams who just hit a 3-run bomb off of a lefty on Thursday. Obviously as discussed yesterday, Martinez can start Zim and swap in Adams later in the game of course, and in an American League city that makes good sense — but as we saw yesterday in a key spot, Zim stayed in against a righty reliever who struck out Zimmerman on a pitch in the dirt stranding Howie Kendrick at second base. Zim is batting .179 against right-handed pitchers, and against all pitchers, he is batting a disappointing .091 in the all important RISP spots in a sample size of 27 plate appearances.
The mystery continues on what is ailing Anthony Rendon. For two weeks, Rendon has been jogging out balls-in-play prompting MASN analyst F.P. Santangelo to say that Rendon was dealing with “something”, but Santangelo gave little information more than that cryptic message. Last night after Rendon jogged to first on what was an easy infield hit, Santangelo said that Rendon is dealing with a lower body issue. While it has been discussed here for weeks, no member of the media has asked Davey Martinez what is going on with Rendon, and that is mind-boggling as it became painfully obvious that Rendon was either dogging it or was hurt. Rendon’s batting average was .335 at the beginning of the month and after an 0-fer last night is at .302 with his OPS dropping under 1.000 since the opening series of the season in March.
Washington Nationals vs. Detroit Tigers
Stadium: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
1st Pitch: 4:10 pm EDT
TV: MASN, FOX Sports Detroit, FS1, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):