Spring Training Game #15 Nats travel to Ft. Myers

The players lost an hour’s sleep as daylight savings time kicked in. The team had to be up and at the bus early for that final trip to Ft. Myers of Grapefruit League play. Last week they were there to face the Red Sox, and are back today for a game against the Twins. The trip is over two hours from the Atlantic coast on the east to the Gulf coast on the west. Manager Dave Martinez is kind of going with his 12:05 lineup from yesterday’s first game of the doubleheader.

After Victor Robles was removed from yesterday’s game for a hamstring injury sustained on a hit-by-pitch earlier in the week, there he is at leadoff less than 24 hours after Martinez briefed the media on his injury. That’s bizarre.

“[Robles] got hit in his hammy. He’s got a knot from getting hit. It kind of tightened up on him a little bit, so I didn’t want to risk it. I tried to get him two at-bats today. and it was hot out there, so I just took him out of the game. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

— Martinez after yesterday’s afternoon game

The Nats are facing a tough pitcher in Pablo Lopez who the team knows well from his time as a Marlins’ starter. Lopez was traded last year to the Twins for Luis Arraez. Lopez was an All-Star in 2023 and seventh in Cy Young voting. The Nats counter with Joan Adon who has been struggling. The good news per Roster Resource is that the Nats got an extra minor league option on Adon. If accurate, he could be destined for Triple-A Rochester instead of the many predictions that had him as the long-man in the Nats’ 2024 bullpen.

Batting second is Luis Garcia Jr. who ended up in Martinez’s doghouse yesterday for not one bad play — but three mistakes. Two fielding errors and a bad baserunning play. The Nats manager did not hold back in criticizing him to the media yesterday.

“That can’t happen. We talked about that with him. We got to be beyond that now with him. I mean, like I said, he’s not a rookie. He’s been in this league now for a while. Those things cannot happen. If we’re gonna compete and do the things we want to do, he’s got to play good defense. He’s got to play good defense.”

“He’s gotta run the bases the right way, he’s got to work good at-bats. So I’ll talk to him tomorrow about it. But you can’t give up those kinds of errors like that. … Those are mental errors that shouldn’t happen.”

— Martinez said about Garcia after yesterday’s game

So much for benching Garcia after the mistakes. He has a history of these types of mistakes, and keeps repeating them. He turns 24 in May, and has parts of four MLB seasons already on his service time. You would think he knows better.

Also back in the starting lineup is James Wood who is in a mini skid. He is in an 0-8 since Wednesday with 3 strikeouts. Overall, his numbers are great. Hopefully this is his game to get back on it with a big game.

While Martinez has only mentioned a center field battle for who his starter is between Robles and Jacob Young, you have to now think that Trey Lipscomb is quietly making a case for himself. He looked good starting against A.J. Puk last night. Lipscomb is now batting .348 with a .766 OPS. He can play all of the infield positions including first base — and he is a minor league Gold Glove winner. Lipscomb has also played the outfield and pitched at his time in college at Tennessee. His positional flexibility is a real boost for this team. While he might not be Nasim Nunez on defense, Lipscomb could have enough bat to get him a spot. Realistically, there’s no room on the roster for all three of Garcia, Lipscomb, and Nunez, and it is Nunez who has to be on the roster as a Rule-5 player, or he probably heads back to the Marlins.

“… We’re here with few positions set in stone — competition is rampant, which I think is good for a young team, and if any of these guys are ready to go, we’ve shown no apprehension to bringing young guys to the big leagues. …”

— Rizzo said this week on the Grant & Danny Radio Show on 106.7

Here are links for Spring Training stats along with BBRef, and a good guide on Roster Resource. This game is only on the radio via the Twins broadcast which can be heard on the MLB app.

This entry was posted in InGame. Bookmark the permalink.