Washington Nationals: Five To Watch In Phillies Visit To D.C.

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Apr 7, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; A Philadelphia Phillies fan holds a sign during a game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. The Washington Nationals won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 7, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; A Philadelphia Phillies fan holds a sign during a game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. The Washington Nationals won 7-6. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Apr 8, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Howie Kendrick (47) rounds second base after hitting a triple during the first inning of game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports /

Howie Kendrick

Early on in the offseason, the Phillies acquired Kendrick from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney. It’s only nine games, but Philadelphia has won that trade in the early stages of the season.

The 33-year-old left fielder is hitting .355 with five RBI’s, four walks, and has a .429 on-base percentage in the first eight games of the season. All five of those RBI’s came against the Washington Nationals last weekend (6-for-13).

True, three of those RBi’s came against Jeremy Guthrie in the blowout win last Saturday. However, he also had a RBI double in the series finale against Stephen Strasburg and he had a double against Max Scherzer.

Since Kendrick was with the Angels, he has been a nightmare for opposing pitchers. He doesn’t have much power, but he finds a way to get on base on a consistent level. He sees about four pitches per plate appearance and is tied for second on the team in walks.

With Kendrick in the number two spot in their lineup, it allows Philadelphia to give more run scoring opportunities to Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera because Kendrick has the ability to get the productive out and move runners over.

Kendrick is in the final year of his deal. If the Phillies are out of it, the team could always trade him at the deadline and get something for him that helps the organization long term. But, in the short term, the veteran left fielder is off to a strong start.

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