With the Washington Nationals’ postseason hopes fading away, it’s time to look forward to the future. That future may start with the September roster expansion call-ups. One of those call-ups will be top prospect outfielder Victor Robles.
Robles has longed to be the part of the Nationals future either to replace Bryce Harper, if Harper chose to sign elsewhere in free agency, or as part of the cornerstone next to him.
Robles’ progression to the majors was halted when he hyperextended his left elbow in a scary scene while diving for a catch in the outfield. He avoided structural damage and returned after two months to Triple-A Syracuse.
Robles entered the season as the fifth-rated prospect in all of MLB by Baseball America. Yes, before Juan Soto emerged as everyone’s favorite 19-year old baseball fan, Robles was the elite and heir apparent in the Nationals organization.
Manager Davey Martinez indicated that Robles will get a great look during the final month of the regular season.
Nats are planning to promote Victor Robles (among others) tomorrow. Davey Martinez said he intends to give the young outfielder playing time down the stretch.
— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) September 3, 2018
Limited with his elbow injury, Robles is hitting .276/.371/.370 with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 40 games with Syracuse.
Providing any setbacks, Robles is penciled in to join the Nationals for 2019 season in the outfield. Now, with Soto firmly on the scene the two make a fascinating duo of young prospects for the Nats moving forward. The question will now be will they be joined by Harper or the lead to the Nats’ post-Harper life?
Joining Robles in the call-ups that are expected Tuesday, are a slew of Nats prospects that include right handed pitcher Joe Ross.
Joe Ross, Erick Fedde, Adrian Sanchez, Austin Voth, Victor Robles and Kyle McGowin are expected Tuesday. Nationals haven’t announced it yet.
Fedde starts Tuesday.
— Todd Dybas (@Todd_Dybas) September 3, 2018
Ross underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2017, ending his season and forcing him to miss part of 2018. Since his return he has pitched in six games in the minors, all starts, posting a 2.39 ERA in 26 1/3 innings. His last rehab start was Sept. 1 in which he allowed five hits while walking three and striking out four in 5 2/3 innings on 89 pitches.
Martinez admitted on Monday that Washington is not totally decided on how Ross will be used in the final month of the season. However, he is expected to be part of the Nats’ starting rotation in 2019. Ross proved to be a good back-of-the-rotation pitcher while with the Nationals, starting 45 games from 2015-17. He has a 3.95 ERA with 230 strikeouts and a 1.292 WHIP. He also has a postseason start coming during the 2016 NLDS.
The Nationals rallied to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Monday, to improved their record to 69-69. The win still leaves them currently 7.5 games out of first place in the NL East. With all signs pointing to 2019, at least the Nationals will get a close view of how next season may look with Robles and Ross as part of the foundation.