Martinez 'upbeat' upon return home from hospital

Nationals skipper not yet cleared to travel, will remain in D.C. for now

September 17th, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- Nationals manager Dave Martinez was back at his home in D.C. on Tuesday after being released from the hospital, where a cardiac catheterization revealed he will not need any further procedures at the moment.

He may need to undergo further testing at some point in the future, but the procedure did not show the need for anything immediate. Martinez has still not been cleared to travel, however, and is not expected to be with the team for the remainder of the club's three-game series in St. Louis. Bench coach Chip Hale will continue to manage the team in Martinez's absence.

Following Thursday's off-day, there’s a chance Martinez could be ready to meet the team in Miami for Friday's series opener against the Marlins, though general manager Mike Rizzo did not want to place a timeline on the skipper's return.

Rizzo spoke with Martinez on the phone Tuesday, and the conversation turned from Martinez’s health to discussions about the Nationals' 4-2 loss on Monday night, and their plans for the rest of the series.

“He had more energy today,” Rizzo said. “He’s upbeat, like he always is. We talked a little health and a lot of baseball, so it was kind of normal.”

Hale has aimed to keep everything as close to normal as possible in Martinez’s absence. The two text before the game, with Martinez giving his bench coach the lineup for the night. And then again after the game, discussing what happened in the contest. The visiting manager’s office in St. Louis has remained untouched. Hale even joked that he left Martinez’s normal front bus seat open.

“One hundred percent, we’re just filling in,” Hale said. “We’re just trying to execute the plan that we all come up with, and Davey is a big part of it. I would never do that. I don’t sit in the front seat on the bus. That’s his spot. I think that’s just pure respect.”

Worth noting

Catcher Kurt Suzuki (right elbow inflammation) took batting practice on the field Tuesday and caught a bullpen session, though he needed help from a member of the coaching staff to throw the ball back to Aníbal Sánchez. The Nats are still waiting for Suzuki to be medically cleared to resume throwing.