Washington Nationals: 5 to watch versus the Milwaukee Brewers
By Ron Juckett
In a season full of amazing statistics and records, the Nats record of 23-6 with Wilmer Difo as a starter ranks near the top of the list.
Injuries have given Difo the chance to be a regular, and that has paid off in spades. Over the last 28 days, his slash line is an impressive .378/.464/.467. His batting eye is why. Over the 17 games he has played in during the last month, he has nine walks in 56 plate appearances mixed with five strikeouts.
Whether hitting second or eighth, Difo is comfortable in either position. From the bottom of the lineup, he reaches base at a .367 clip. From the two-hole it is .345.
We know his limited starts in the outfield are an adventure. Even during his recent good offensive stretch, Difo is a singles machine with limited power and hardly and doubles. Not fast enough to be a base stealing threat, he will swipe an occasional bag.
Yet, when you combine his skills, they add up to a positive for Difo and the Nats. He is a good defender, playing both shortstop and second. As a key player off the bench, he will not hurt you unless you stick him in center field.
Difo’s performance is a major reason the Nats hold a comfortable division lead. Losing a resurgent Trea Turner to the disabled list could have seriously crimped the offense. With Difo’s play, it has not.