“We got 26 players I worry about every day,” said manager Dave Martinez answering a question regarding what will happen if the Nationals can’t turn their season around. “I just focus on those guys here right now. We're just one or two hits away from really busting out, being consistently good and getting a ‘W’ every day. We just got to keep plugging away.”
Martinez continues to make offensive adjustments in hopes that he’ll find the move that will be the catalyst for change in his clubhouse.
In Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the Rays, the skipper started Kyle Schwarber in the leadoff spot for the first time in a Nats uniform. The left fielder went 0-for-3 with a walk, but he worked long at-bats against Tyler Glasnow -- seeing 27 pitches over his four plate appearances.
Martinez was confident his team would find some momentum facing lefty Shane McClanahan in the series finale; the Nationals’ offense is slashing .274/.347/.424 against left-handed starters this season.
Washington’s 107 weighted runs created plus (wRC+) against southpaws this season is tied for the eighth-most among MLB. In comparison, its 86 wRC+ against righties ranks 26th. While the Nats will not always face a left-handed starter, Martinez stresses that the team just needs one big turnaround game for everything to begin to click.
Nationals executive steps away from baseball
Doug Harris, Washington's assistant GM and vice president of player personnel, has announced he will step away from baseball to focus on his health and family, as he told the Washington Post. The four-time cancer survivor joined the Nationals in 2009, as Mike Rizzo’s first farm director hired.
As per his doctor’s recommendations, Harris will step back from the sport he has loved his whole life -- he pitched for James Madison University and rose to Triple-A in the Royals’ organization -- and worked in for more than 30 years.
The assistant GM of player development, Mark Scialabba, will step in and oversee player development. He has been with the Nationals since 2006.