Mark DeRosa was signed by the Washington Nationals to improve their bench over what the Nats had for the 2011 campaign. DeRosa did not deliver at the plate or on the field as the Nats hoped he would. DeRosa ran a close second to Xavier Nady in the worst-performing Nationals player sweepstakes.
2012 Prediction (ZiPS): .244/.300/.277, 0 HR, 13 RBI, 46 games, 119 AB
2012 Actual: .188/.300/.247, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 48 games, 85 AB
DeRosa set the world on fire during spring training and it appeared the Nats might have made a good pickup for the bench. His slash line in fifteen games and 35 at bats was .457/.587/.600. Once the grind of the regular season started, DeRosa did not produce numbers anywhere near his spring training outburst.
DeRosa spent significant stints on the DL. He was on the DL from April 28th to June 25th, and again August 5th to September 1st. Nearly three months of the campaign were lost due to injury. However, it seemed that DeRosa had the knack for going on the DL when a roster move was imminent which might have caused the team to release him.
When a bench player has a lower batting average than four of the pitchers on the team (Tom Gorzelanny, Stephen Strasburg, Edwin Jackson and Jordan Zimmerman) that player cannot be said to have had a good season. That is the case with DeRosa, who was outhit by all four pitchers.
Lack of production at the plate and injuries were not DeRosa’s only problems. He was a less than adequate outfielder when called upon to play the position. His infield work was better, mostly playing some third base while the team was covering for Ryan Zimmerman’s absence.
He was cited by some of his fellow players as a veteran presence in the clubhouse with whom they could discuss issues and baseball theories. DeRosa’s main value to the team may have been in this role.
Season Highlight: August 3 in the first game of a double header against the Miami Marlins. DeRosa played right field for the entire game and had three RBI’s. He hit a single that scored two runs, and walked with the bases loaded to gain another. He collected half of his RBI’s for the season in this game.