Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Long ball carries Nats to win

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Miami Marlins right fielder Ichiro Suzuki makes a leaping catch of a Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos line drive during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Why Isn’t Suzuki A National?

Every time the Nationals play the Marlins this season, I wonder why the Nationals didn’t swoop in and sign Ichiro Suzuki to be a bench player for this team.

He is a veteran guy. He still plays a great outfield at the age of 41. He has a decent average for a bench player, hitting .251.

The Nationals spent $1 million to sign Reed Johnson for the season, and he has been hurt just about all year. Suzuki cost the Marlins $2 million for the season, and he has been available and playing.

Suzuki is going to be available in 2016, as his contract with the Marlins was only for one year. The Nationals and Mike Rizzo should give some thought to putting Suzuki on this team for the 2016 campaign, especially if they don’t resign Denard Span. The team would then have a viable fourth outfielder on the bench who can play either corner position (and center field in a pinch) and a decent pinch hitter.

How nice would it have been to have Suzuki available to play when both Span and Michael Taylor were injured? I like Clint Robinson as a hitter, but he’s no defensive outfielder. Even if the team only used Suzuki in the later innings in a game such as tonight’s, it would be a defensive upgrade for the later innings. Suzuki hits well enough that he can be substituted in to shore up the defense without a fall off at the plate.

Next: Recap: Nats Offense Hits Three Home Runs In 5-1 Win Over Marlins

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