Is a Minor League Stint in Store for Michael Taylor?
In 60 games this season, Nationals leadoff hitters have slumped to a combined .190/.240/.297 slash line. Michael Taylor has appeared in the spot 26 times, contributing to the total with a .198/.239/.349 line of his own. Overall, Taylor has played in 45 games, which is nearly as many as Wilson Ramos, and is batting a lowly .207. After finishing fourth in all of baseball with a .453 batting average in Spring Training, Taylor lost any momentum he had once the season started.
With the Nationals reportedly in the market for a left-handed bat to add to the lineup, Taylor’s time in the Nats’ clubhouse could be numbered. While he has played above average defense in center field and his arm is certainly an upgrade over Ben Revere, Taylor may be due for a tune up in AAA. He owns the highest strikeout percentage on the team and has only eleven extra-base hits to his name.
As he is still a young player, Taylor can be sent down to the minors to work things out when he’s struggling (looking at you Werth). The Nats should not hesitate to move him for a variety of reasons. If Taylor is going to work out of this prolonged slump, he’s going to need every day at-bats. Sitting on the bench five days a week isn’t going to be enough work for him to get back on track, especially for a 25-year old. In addition, the Nats could use a better bat in the lineup, and Matt den Dekker has proved his worth in the big leagues before.