Nationals’ Victor Robles day-to-day after hamstring strain

Todd Dybas

WASHINGTON -- An injury and a defensive preference caused Davey Martinez to alter his lineup for Game 3 of the National League Division Series.

Brian Dozier is in at second base, sliding Howie Kendrick to first base and Ryan Zimmerman to the bench. Michael A. Taylor takes Victor Robles' spot.

Dozier's history against Ryu is limited and modestly successful. Zimmerman is in the same situation. So, Martinez had to decide between Zimmerman and Kendrick once he chose Dozier's defense. 

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"Dozier is, he's a big part of what we did here, why we had success, and he hits lefties really well," Martinez said. "And I like him playing second base with Aníbal [Sánchez] pitching."

Sánchez produced ground balls on 38 percent of the balls put in play against him this season. The ratio of outs made on the ground versus fly balls against Sánchez is not an eye-popping one at 0.79. Though, the Dodgers do have five left-handed hitters in the lineup to start tonight, so pull-side balls could be a factor.

The other change is Taylor starts in center field. Victor Robles has a mild hamstring strain and is day-to-day, according to Martinez, and available to pinch-hit Sunday night in an "emergency." Martinez said there was not thought of taking Robles off the roster to put an injury replacement on. If the Nationals did that, he would not be allowed to be added onto the National League Championship Series roster, should they advance.

"He had a MRI and it's a very, very mild strain," Martinez said. "His right hamstring. If need be in an emergency he'll be available to pinch hit. As we all know how Victor plays, he wanted to play today, but I really believe that it's best that he just, we get him treatment, and he's going to try to ride the bike and run a little bit today and see how he feels."

Taylor hit .333 in the 2017 NLDS against Chicago, including two home runs and eight RBIs. He walked three times and struck out four. That series appeared to position him for a more prominent role -- or a good trade return -- going forward. Instead, he lost playing time in 2018, then spent most of 2019 playing for Double-A Harrisburg. Robles' injury gives him another postseason shot.

The rest of the Nationals' lineup remains as expected:

Trea Turner (SS)

Adam Eaton (RF)

Anthony Rendon (3B)

Juan Soto (LF)

Howie Kendrick (1B)

Kurt Suzuki (C)

Brian Dozier (2B)

Michael A. Taylor (CF)

Aníbal Sánchez (P)

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Nationals Victor Robles day-to-day after hamstring strain originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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