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Nats Notebook: Victor Robles update, lefties in the ‘pen

washington nationalsRobles update: It sure doesn’t sound like Victor Robles is in the plans for Game 3 of the NLCS on Monday at Nats Park.

All Nats manager Davey Martinez could offer: “hopefully he’ll be ready tomorrow.”

“We’re going to run him a little bit today. He’s got to get some treatment, and then we’ll say tomorrow he’ll participate in BP and do a little bit more running, and we’ll see where we’re at tomorrow. I’m not going to anticipate anything until he comes in tomorrow, but he’s progressing,” Martinez said on the off-day on Sunday.

Michael A. Taylor has been manning center field in Robles’ place, and actually has done a fine job, slashing .300/.364/.450 in seven games, with a solo homer in the second inning of Washington’s 3-1 Game 2 win on Saturday.

Robles has only played in three games, and hasn’t been in the lineup since Game 2 of the NLDS.

Martinez made it clear that Robles will get his spot in center back once he’s healthy.

“Victor has been in centerfield 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.

Lefties in the ‘pen: Roenis Elias – remember him? – is on the roster for the NLCS. Not that you’d know, necessarily, given how Martinez has been ghosting the lefty reliever this postseason.

Elias, acquired at the trade deadline from Seattle, was injured running out a ground ball in his first Nats appearance on Aug. 2, and has only made three appearances since, the last one coming all the way back on Sept. 5.

Martinez has gone to lefty starter Patrick Corbin in relief to get outs in the 2019 postseason, using the Game 1 NLDS starter three times out of the bullpen, including getting an out against St. Louis left-handed hitter Kolten Wong from Corbin late in the Game 2 win.

The manager said Corbin, who is the scheduled starter for Game 4, was supposed to throw between starts on Saturday anyway.

“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,” Martinez said. “It so happens he was able to get an out for us, but he was going to throw a side after the game. So, I just thought, just get him in the game and be done with it, and it was a great opportunity for him to face Wong right there.”

Martinez did say on Sunday that he knows he is going to need to use Elias in similar situations with Corbin unavailable due to his scheduled Tuesday start.

“Moving forward, Elias is going to have to get those big outs against the lefties here in the next couple days,” Martinez said.

Column by Chris Graham


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