The Nationals are finally back home after a long road trip that started out west and finished with some emotional games in New York. The Reds enter Nats Park for a 3-game series, and there will be a slightly different look for both of these teams on their rosters. Gone via a trade is Yasiel Puig, and Derek Dietrich is on the 10-day IL, and called-up is Aristides Aquino. If you do not know Aquino, let’s just say he has 14 career hits and half of those are home runs. The 25-year-old Dominican is playing in Puig’s old spot. The Nationals will send Erick Fedde to the mound, and in the pitcher’s meeting this afternoon, they need to figure out how to pitch to Aquino.
The news of the day will be the health of Juan Soto who is dealing with an ankle sprain and is listed as day-to-day. He has the highest batting average .667 (2-3) against the Reds starter, Anthony DeSclafani, who will face the Nats for the eighth time in his career. The right-hander has an identical 4.20 ERA as Fedde. The Reds rotation will certainly look different after Tanner Roark was traded, and Trevor Bauer was acquired from their Ohio rival in a blockbuster three-team trade. The Reds rotation is now Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, Bauer, Alex Wood, and DeSclafani. The Nats are scheduled to also face Wood tomorrow and Bauer on Wednesday.
If Soto sits today, manager Dave Martinez has only one viable choice of Gerardo Parra as Andrew Stevenson was optioned back today for Howie Kendrick who was activated from the 10-day IL. Martinez has to decide if he will sit Matt Adams who has been playing a lot more than normal recently or go straight to Kendrick. Roenis Elias is eligible to come off of the 10-day IL tomorrow with his backdated IL stint. Martinez has said that Ryan Zimmerman is getting close to returning, and they will test out his foot in his baserunning drills. There is also the question as to the status of Jeremy Hellickson who is rehabbing in the GCL, and of course Max Scherzer is set to throw a Sim game tomorrow which could put him on a path to return on Sunday or the following week if he requires a rehab start.
We did some research on Victor Robles getting a “rest” day and then having to enter the game on defense due to an injury or ejection, and this has now happened three times this year. On May 4th, Michael Taylor injured his wrist on a dive, and Robles replaced him and was the catalyst to a win against Philadelphia. Robles was 2-2 with a HR and a bunt that turned into a throwing error that scored two runs! On July 28th against the Dodgers, Adam Eaton was ejected in the first inning and Robles came off the bench and went 3-4 with a single, double, and triple to help the Nats win. Yesterday, he comes off the bench to replace the injured Soto and goes 1-1 with a 2-run home run to help beat the Mets. Each time before those games, Robles was in a funk. He is now 6-7 entering a game as a defensive replacement this season with 2 home runs, a triple and a double.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, FOX Sports Ohio, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):