Washington Nationals News: Michael Taylor staying positive through struggles

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Apr 15, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Michael Taylor (R) and his teammates celebrate a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Washington Nationals won 9-1. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 15, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Michael Taylor (R) and his teammates celebrate a victory against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Washington Nationals won 9-1. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today’s District Daily features stories on Michael Taylor’s struggles this season and why Washington Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa gets hit by so many pitches.

In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Jamal Collier discusses Michael Taylor’s struggles at the plate this season. As Collier writes, Taylor struggled enormously with the bat while Ben Revere was on the disabled list but remains positive that he’ll be able to turn things around.

The outfielder is batting .185 through 25 games this season and leads the team with 32 strikeouts. Taylor spent most of the first month of the season as the team’s leadoff hitter and struggled mightily out of that spot, which contributed to the team’s early season offensive struggles.

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Unfortunately for Taylor, he may not have many chances to turn his slump around. With Revere back in the lineup and Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper healthy, plate appearances will be harder to come by for the young outfielder.

But Taylor still plays a very important role in the Nationals’ offense, and he could be thrust right back into the lineup at any moment if one of the outfielders gets hurt. Hopefully for the Nationals, Taylor can turn his season around with some plate appearances off the bench in the coming days and weeks.

Here’s what Taylor had to say about his struggles, via Collier’s article:

"“It teaches you perseverance,” Taylor said. “There’s a ton of things that you learn just in going through it, and the hardest part is not being able to help your team and letting guys down. But the guys around me have picked me up in situations and off the field and things like that. That definitely makes it a lot easier.”"

Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes discusses why Danny Espinosa gets hit by so many pitches. As Janes writes, Espinosa is among the league leaders in hit-by-pitches this season.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Taylor staying positive through struggles

(Jamal Collier, MLB.com)

CHICAGO — Spring Training stats are often inconsequential, but Michael Taylor was the Nationals’ hottest hitter in camp, batting .453/.491/.849 with five home runs, leading fans to clamor for him to be in the starting lineup. Then Ben Revere landed on the disabled list after sustaining an injury on Opening Day, catapulting Taylor into the role of starting center fielder and leadoff hitter.

However, Taylor has struggled mightily at the plate. Through the first 25 games, he is hitting .186/.222/.304 with 32 strikeouts while swinging at too many pitches outside the strike zone. When Revere returned from the DL on Friday, Taylor was sent to the bench as the fourth outfielder, his chance to cement the starting role having slipped away. Read full article here.

Why does Danny Espinosa get hit by so many pitches?

(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)

CHICAGO — Only one player in the National League has been hit by as many pitches this season as Danny Espinosa, who has attracted six errant deliveries this season. At one point during this weekend’s series against the Cubs, Espinosa was hit in three of four plate appearances. Why?

Espinosa believes his position in the order explains some of it. He  has spent most of this season hitting eighth, just ahead of the pitcher’s spot. When they can help it, pitchers do not want the eighth hitter to beat them, because generally, an easy out follows. They can, therefore, lean toward missing by a lot, rather than a little, just to keep the ball away from zones in which hitters can do big damage. Read full article here.

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