PHOENIX -- Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he always appreciated Matt Adams from afar before signing him in the offseason, and a few tweaks by new hitting coach Kevin Long have helped Adams to a .308/.400/.615 slash line in 15 plate appearances against lefties going into Friday's game, albeit
PHOENIX -- Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he always appreciated Matt Adams from afar before signing him in the offseason, and a few tweaks by new hitting coach Kevin Long have helped Adams to a .308/.400/.615 slash line in 15 plate appearances against lefties going into Friday's game, albeit a small sample size.
His game-winning single in the 11th inning of Thursday night's win over the D-backs off left-hander Andrew Chafin was just more of the same.
"I feel like I've really worked hard, especially in Spring Training, in getting a little bit more comfortable against lefties in case I got more playing time," Adams said. "For the most part, I'm feeling pretty confident stepping in there against them. Made some little adjustments facing lefties. Just trying to keep it rolling."
Adams is hitting everyone well this season, and he likely will remain a regular lineup presence now that Adam Eaton will be out for at least another month after being moved to the 60-disabled list Friday.
Adams seems ready. After the 2016 season with the Cardinals, he underwent a serious body remake that included a commitment to a pilates regimen and a diet change. He lost about 40 pounds, he said, and drastically reduced his body fat.
"I think this year I am finally comfortable in the new body," Adams said.
"I felt good last year, but it was in a three-month transformation that I did all that, so I think just continuing to keep working on it through the season last year helped. Being able to go into the offseason and not going backwards, taking steps forward, I think that helped out big time."
Adams played sparingly with St. Louis before traded in May to Atlanta, where he had 19 homers and 58 RBIs in 314 plate appearances.
He had 10 homers and 25 RBIs in 100 plate appearances going into Friday's game.
"Being able to work with Kevin Long and [assistant hitting coach] Joe Dillon, those guys are really good at what they do and gave me some little drills that we started doing in Spring Training," Adams said.
"We developed a routine and stuck with it."
Wieters out, Kieboom in
Catcher Matt Wieters was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday with a left hamstring strain and will be reevaluated when the Nationals return home next week, Martinez said. The MRI Wieters had Friday has not been evaluated, and possible damage to the left knee has not been ruled out.
Spencer Kieboom was purchased from Triple-A Syracuse to add a second catcher to the roster, with Pedro Severino becoming the clear No. 1.
"[Severino has] been really good, the times he got the chance to play," manager Dave Martinez said. "Now he's going to get some more time. I just want him to continue to do what he's been doing."
Eaton (ankle) was transferred from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day list to make room on the 40-man for Kieboom, who had one plate appearance with the Nationals in 2016, walking and scoring a run as a pinch-hitter on Oct. 2.
Kieboom was slashing .250/.337/.333 with one homer and 10 RBIs in 25 games in Syracuse and had excelled behind the plate, throwing out 10 of the 21 potential base-stealers. Kieboom was 4-for-4 with four singles and an RBI Thursday before catching a morning flight Friday.
"I have a great relationship with 'Sevvy,' and I'm going to ask him a ton of questions now," Kieboom said. "Talking to Matt as well. Those things are things I am going to take advantage of. Early."
• Ryan Zimmerman missed his second straight game and fifth in the last seven with back soreness, possibly exacerbated when he slid into home plate in San Diego earlier on the trip.
"He sill has a little back issue going on, so we want to give him another day," Martinez said. "If this is a bigger issue, I want to make sure we calm it down."
Zimmerman was unavailable Thursday because he could not get loose.
Jack Magruder is a contributor to MLB.com based in Phoenix.