Dave Martinez's presence missed, but Nats are humming along

Chris Lingebach
September 18, 2019 - 1:06 pm

The Washington Nationals were fortunate to have an experienced coaching staff when manager Dave Martinez had to leave Sunday's game with chest pains.

Martinez hasn't been with the club since undergoing a cardiac catheterization on Monday and has been grounded by team doctors as he recovers, causing him to miss the remainder of their series in St. Louis. Martinez has undergone additional testing since the procedure, but as of now, no further testing is needed.

By the time Mike Rizzo called into The Sports Junkies for his weekly appearance Wednesday morning – presented by Burke & Herbert Bank – the Nats GM, due to the time difference, hadn't yet spoken to Martinez again since their last conversation on Tuesday, but says he's still at home "resting comfortably and doing well."

"Yesterday he was home," Rizzo said. "He had much more energy than the day before when I spoke to him. I think he's resting comfortably and doing well. He had that procedure to check his heart valves and that type of thing, and hopefully, when the doctors give him a clearance to travel, he'll be joining the team. The doctors tell me when he does join the team, he'll have no limitations and he should be fine."

Nats bench coach Chip Hale will continue to manage the club in Martinez's stead, with first base coach Tim Bogar sliding into Hale's role on the bench.

"I know Chip and Davey are in constant contact. Not during the game, but leading up to the game," Rizzo said. "Davey gives the lineup and they go over strategy, how he thinks they should be used, and Chip kind of takes that plan and administers it. You know, don't forget, Chip Hale's been a minor league manager for probably about 15 years, and a big league manager. He knows his way around a game card and how to handle these guys."

"Bogar has been a manager. We moved him into being the bench coach. So we've got a lot of experience on that staff," he said. "We won't miss a beat. We miss Davey's presence, and his energy and his enthusiasm, and the players really miss him. But until he gets back, this team is under great care and great baseball people."

The Nationals are 2-1 in Martinez's absence, including Sunday's win over the Braves.

Every week, all baseball season, if any Washington player hits for the cycle during a Wednesday game, one lucky fan wins a cool $100K. Click here to enter the Burke & Herbert "Bank On The Cycle" contest!