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Nate Schierholtz: 2014 Year in Review


Sep 16, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Nate Schierholtz (17) bats against the Atlanta Braves in the ninth inning at Turner Field. The Nationals defeated the Braves 3-0 to clinch the National League eastern division championship. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Schierholtz was a late season addition to the Washington Nationals bench. He was signed by the Nats in August after it became apparent that Nate McLouth was going to be lost for the rest of the season due to his shoulder problems.

Schierholtz was added to the roster to provide a veteran, left-handed pinch hitter and bench player for the Nats stretch run and post season.

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Nate Schierholtz was designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs on August 6th and cleared waivers. Schierholtz had trouble hitting productively in 2014. His average with the Cubs was .192 in 313 at bats, down from his posted average of .251 from 2013.

The Nationals signed Schierholtz on August 13th to a minor league deal and sent him to AAA Syracuse. He made his first appearance with the Nats on August 24th.

Schierholtz mostly filled the left handed pinch hit role with the Nats. Occasionally he would play right field to give Jayson Werth a day off or to provide a left handed bat in the lineup against a right handed starter.

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Schierholtz had two great moments with the Nats during the regular season. On August 31st , his fifth appearance with the Nats, he played a full game and got his first hit as a Nat, a home run. In another full game appearance on September 12th he went two for four.

His batting average with the Nats was .225, which was an improvement over his performance with the Cubs.

Schierholtz shone during the post season for the Nationals. He had three at bats. He drew two walks and had a hit. His batting average in the post season was 1.000. Perfect.

Given the lack of hitting by the Nats regulars during the post season, looking back on it, Nats watchers have to wonder if Schierholtz should have been given more opportunities. At least he was getting on base any way he could and providing a base runner, of which the Nationals were sorely in need.

Schierholtz is a free agent. He will not be back with the Nats for 2015. Nate McLouth is under contract as the Nats left handed bench player and is reportedly going to be ready to play in 2015 after his shoulder surgery.