Nats get previous Padres as rookie journeyman Joey Meneses homers once more

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Right here’s the factor about August for sellers on the commerce deadline: Somebody will get an opportunity. Typically, a number of someones. The roster is skinny, the season is bleak, it usually feels just like the calendar can’t transfer quick sufficient, as if the promise of subsequent spring is a distant fantasy.

However nearly at all times, somebody will get his likelihood.

And right here’s the factor about Joey Meneses, a 30-year-old rookie for the Washington Nationals, a man who spent 11 seasons within the minors — driving buses everywhere in the world, feeling each low possible — till he was known as as much as exchange Josh Bell on Aug. 2: He doesn’t have his personal bats but.

Sure, he’s an expert ballplayer. Sure, he wears No. 45 for the Nationals, taking part in a mixture of first base, left area and proper. However high quality picket bats? They may be costly, particularly for a profession minor leaguer who isn’t repped by a high-spending company. So in his first 9 appearances, Meneses has used borrowed lumber to smack 5 homers, together with a game-tying shot in a 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night time.

His first homer, a solo shot in his debut — a blast that got here solely hours after Juan Soto and Bell have been dealt to the Padres — was with a bat he picked up from Johan Camargo, whom Meneses crossed paths with whereas Camargo was with the Class AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs this summer season. Meneses has additionally swung bats from New York Yankees infielder Miguel Andújar, former Texas Rangers first baseman Ronald Guzmán, former Nationals outfielder Gerardo Parra, teammate César Hernández, Boston Purple Sox minor league infielder José Peraza and Johan Mieses, an outfielder in Boston’s system. Meneses’s best dimension is 34 inches, 31 ounces, however he doesn’t discriminate if the numbers are shut.

“I’m still waiting for my shipment, man,” Meneses stated not too long ago. “I didn’t like the team bats we had in Rochester, so whenever I saw a guy I knew, I just told him, ‘Hey, bro, let me get a bat. Come on now.’ It’s like a collection I got. My bag is full of other guys’ names.”

Earlier than Saturday’s matchup with the Padres and Yu Darvish, Parra’s and Hernández’s bats have been in Meneses’s cubby within the Nationals’ dugout. However when he singled off Darvish within the fourth, it was with a darkish crimson bat given to him by Mieses, a 27-year-old from the Dominican Republic. Meneses, a local of Mexico, then took that bat and crushed a 415-foot homer towards Darvish within the sixth.

A batter earlier than, with two down within the inning, Yadiel Hernandez lifted a two-run, reverse area homer off a first-pitch fastball from Darvish. With 5 homers already, Meneses trails simply Trevor Story for essentially the most homers within the first 9 video games of a profession since 1901.

Story hit seven after he debuted six years in the past with Colorado. That’s fairly first rate firm.

“I don’t know how he didn’t come to the show earlier,” Nationals starter Aníbal Sánchez stated of Meneses. “But the way that I see he’s playing right now, he deserves everything that is happening to him.”

In the long run, although, Meneses couldn’t act alone. Regardless of an inefficient begin to his outing, Sánchez held a loaded Padres lineup to 3 runs in 5 innings. César Hernández collected three singles for Washington (38-77) and scored on Victor Robles’s go-ahead knock within the seventh. When the play unfolded, it appeared as if Soto had thrown out Hernández on the plate, holding a tie intact. However the Nationals rapidly challenged that catcher Austin Nola had illegally blocked the plate, and the decision was overturned by replay evaluation.

From there, Hunter Harvey and Carl Edwards Jr. completed 4 scoreless innings for the bullpen. Steve Cishek and Kyle Finnegan labored the primary two. With a single within the eighth, Nelson Cruz turned the primary participant to achieve 2,000 hits in a Nationals uniform. Two batters after that, Meneses drove a excessive fastball to the warning observe, falling possibly 10 toes wanting one other homer.

Win, lose or rain, Meneses will take the chance to show himself on the sport’s highest stage, a dream that generally appeared unreachable from Japan or America’s tiny cities. But it does really feel higher on the correct aspect of a consequence.

Why did shortstop Luis García sit? The 22-year-old left Friday’s loss with left groin tightness and shall be reevaluated day by day. Requested whether or not this might result in C.J. Abrams’s promotion from the Class AAA Rochester Purple Wings, Supervisor Dave Martinez saved his reply normal, saying solely that he and Common Supervisor Mike Rizzo talk about all prospects. Abrams, 21, was one of many six gamers acquired within the Soto/Bell commerce. Many across the membership are antsy for him to reach and bump García to second base.

What are the following steps for Erick Fedde? After throwing simulated innings at Nationals Park on Friday, Fedde will subsequent pitch for Rochester in a rehab task Wednesday. Fedde, 29 and a rotation staple for many of the 12 months, has been sidelined since July 31 with proper shoulder irritation. Martinez hopes for him to throw between 75 and 80 pitches in his outing with the Purple Wings.

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