Washington Nationals news & notes: Davey Martinez on Victor Robles at the plate; Alcides Escobar caught stealing 3B + more

Victor Robles Challenge:

Kevin Lengthy, who labored with Victor Robles over 4 years within the nation’s capital earlier than he signed on to change into the Philadelphia Phillies’ hitting coach this previous winter, mentioned whoever changed him had a tricky job forward of them in attempting to get the 24-year-old outfielder again on monitor after two seasons of struggles in 2020-21.

“Victor Robles, with the Nats, underperformed for us,” Lengthy mentioned, in discussing what it’s prefer to work with hitters who’re both underperforming or exceeding expectations.

“That was going to be an enormous venture, and it’s for the subsequent man that steps in there, since you need him to rebound.”

Davey Martinez and the hitting coach who did substitute Lengthy, Darnell Coles, have centered all spring on getting Robles again to his 2019 type, when he performed heart for the World Sequence champion Nationals and held his personal all through the common and postseason.

It’s been an extended battle for Robles, however his supervisor mentioned earlier than the primary recreation of two with the Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday that the middle fielder has dealt with all of it nicely.

Picture by Mitchell Layton/Getty Pictures

“He’s been superior,” Martinez mentioned. “He actually has, by means of this complete course of, and it’s a change — it’s an enormous change for him, as a result of he’s at all times hit together with his fingers decrease, however we’re taking it step-by-step. We’ve bought his fingers up now, and we’re going to start out speaking about his decrease half a little bit bit. However he’s been nice, and I’ve instructed him, ‘Hey, there’s going to be days the place I don’t need you to play, you understand, however you may need to play, you may need to come back in and play protection, you may need to … however we wish to get you proper, and I actually imagine that he’s trending in the appropriate course.”

Robles began the season 0 for 18 in eight video games, with Martinez utilizing him fastidiously, and at instances protecting him out of the lineup so Coles can work with the outfielder, however he mentioned he’s seeing constructive indicators, with Robles selecting up an RBI single for his first hit of the yr in PNC Park over the weekend and going 1 for 3 together with his first extra-base hit, an RBI double he hit within the Nats’ 6-1 win over Arizona final evening in D.C.

“Superior,” Martinez mentioned of Robles arising with one other RBI hit.

“Like I mentioned, he’s working arduous, and it’s good to see him get rewarded with a double after all of the work he’s put in. I feel one at-bat, the pitch they referred to as a strike on him was … not superb, and the final at-bat the man got here again with a sinker away, caught the plate, so … however he’s having good at-bats, he’s seeing pitches, his swings are rather a lot higher. He’s lacking some balls now … however like I mentioned, hold swinging, swings are good. I actually like the place he’s at, and I feel he’s solely going to get higher.”

Robles went 1 for 3 with a run scored and a strikeout within the Nationals’ 1-0 win within the second recreation of the doubleheader.

Martinez OK With Alcides Escobar CS At 3B W/ Soto Up:

The preliminary response to Alcides Escobar getting thrown out at third with two down and Juan Soto on the plate (in a two-strike depend towards D-backs’ lefty Madison Bumgarner) within the first recreation of yesterday’s doubleheader, was predictably damaging, with loads of, “You’re already in scoring place at second,” and a few “Don’t make the primary out or final out at third,” logic, which has prevailed in baseball for a while, to not point out the taking the bat out of Soto’s fingers a part of it, however when Nationals’ supervisor Davey Martinez was requested after the sport about Escobar’s decision-making on the play, he didn’t criticize his infielder. Fairly the alternative, truly.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Washington Nationals - Game One

Picture by Mitchell Layton/Getty Pictures

“I appreciated it,” Martinez mentioned. “Two strikes. [Madison] Bumgarner is hard on lefties, he’s actually robust with two strikes on lefties, you understand, and I do know Juan is an effective hitter, however he gave Juan one other — if he makes it, nice, if he doesn’t — he gave Juan one other alternative to stand up there and begin contemporary. So, and we had an enormous inning after that, and we scored some runs, so I don’t thoughts it, I actually don’t, particularly towards that man, who was pitching fairly good.”

It … wasn’t Martinez’s name for Escobar to run although. “That was his,” Martinez instructed reporters.

“Like I mentioned, he simply didn’t have an excellent soar,” the skipper defined.

“He may have went rather a lot earlier, one thing we’ll speak to him about, however for me no less than he was heads up.

“We talked about it earlier than the sport that Bumgarner generally is a little sluggish from second base, so listen and be prepared.”

Breathe By Your Eyelids:

Davey Martinez has talked typically this season about a few of his starters needing to take a deep breath and settle themselves down on the mound, after they get into any of these high-leverage conditions which are inclined to make the heartbeat pound and the guts race. It’s one factor pitchers and hitters alike have to work on in the event that they’re going to make it within the majors…

“We speak rather a lot in regards to the psychological facet of the sport,” Martinez defined, “not solely hitting, however [pitching] as nicely, pitching and hitting each, and for me it’s essential. Particularly while you’re younger. Learn to management your heartbeat. We’re attempting to show these guys to try this on the mound. As a result of I performed the sport a very long time, and in conditions the place you could have the bases loaded, or you could have an opportunity to drive in a successful run, man, your heartbeat begins going, and also you’ve bought to be taught to manage your self and keep within the second.”

MLB: Game One-Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports activities

Josiah Grey, specifically, is somebody Martinez has talked to about controlling the psychological facet of the sport.

“We speak rather a lot about that, and he understands. He’s attempting to be taught. He’s understanding what we imply, and he tells me generally, ‘Man, my coronary heart was racing,’ and I mentioned, ‘Yeah, these are the instances the place you bought to actually inform your self, “I’m going to step again right here, and take a pair deep breaths,” and perceive it’s just one pitch, simply concentrate on that one pitch after which we’ll go from there.”

“I inform him that as a result of he does inform me, ‘Hey, I get — generally I can really feel myself simply …’ and I mentioned, ‘Hey, one pitch. That’s all you bought to fret about is throwing one pitch at a time.

“‘You possibly can’t throw three pitches with one pitch, proper? Simply make that one pitch and see what occurs and we’ll go from there.’”


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