Nats taking no chances with Robles (hamstring)

Center fielder remains day to day; Taylor performing well in his absence

October 13th, 2019

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals and played more than half of this postseason without , their starting center fielder who according to Baseball Reference is already a four-win player at the age of 22.

Robles hasn’t played since straining his right hamstring running out a ground ball in the eighth inning of Game 2 of the NL Division Series. He’s still day to day, but he’s now missed five consecutive postseason games and manager Dave Martinez did not want to speculate on his status for Game 3 on Monday night, either.

“We're going to run him a little bit today,” Martinez said during a conference call Sunday. “He's got to get some treatment, and then we'll see 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, and hopefully, he'll be ready.”

Robles has been taking batting practice with the team on the field and Martinez said he was about 80-85 percent. Perhaps the colder temperatures for Games 1 and 2 in St. Louis played a factor in his decision as well, and the weather should be warmer in D.C. But this postseason could have been a chance for Robles, who is already a star defensively even if his bat still has some catching up to do, to shine on a national stage. The Nats want Robles back and completely healthy, so they’ll wait the extra time to be sure he is 100 percent.

They have that luxury because has played well in Robles’ absence -- with six hits in 20 at-bats, including a solo home run in Game 2 of the NLCS, to complement strong defense in center field despite misplaying a line drive in the eighth inning Saturday.

While Taylor has filled in nicely, Martinez was sure to emphasize another point Sunday: Robles is still the team’s starting center fielder.

“Victor has been in center field 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.”