When asked about his starting rotation Sunday, and whether a semi-encouraging outing from Paolo Espino helped him see a short-term fix, Dave Martinez made an admission that, while obvious, was important for the discussion at hand: “I can’t predict what the future is going to be.”
That’s one certainty of the Washington Nationals’ immediate pitching plans. The other is ... well, no, that’s it.
Stephen Strasburg is on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation. Martinez, the Nationals’ manager, said there is no timetable for his return. Jon Lester remains on the coronavirus-related IL while building his pitch count at the team’s alternate site in Fredericksburg. Martinez used Espino, a 34-year-old with little major league experience, to fill in for Strasburg against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. (The game ended in a 5-2 loss, though that wasn’t Espino’s fault.) Otherwise, the staff is filled out by Max Scherzer, a struggling Patrick Corbin, Joe Ross and Erick Fedde.
Which funnels right into the pressing question: What’s next?