Over the course of the 162-game season, veteran leadership can prove to be an enormous asset. There will be low points in the year and teammates may grow tired of each other, but veteran leadership can smooth everything out.
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For the last seven years, Jayson Werth has served as the heart and soul of the Nats’ clubhouse. However, he will not return in 2018.
It is unfair to ask one player to fill Werth’s role, so there will be several veterans contributing to the task. Because of his experience and various leadership qualities, Murphy is a prime candidate to help fill the void.
Murphy is not one to get in a teammate’s face, but he does an excellent job of leading by example. He is one of the hardest workers in the league, which motivates his teammates to follow suit.
With a new coaching staff in place, veteran leadership will be even more important for the Nats in 2018. Dave Martinez is a first-time manager, but having veterans to lean on will contribute to a smooth transition.
2018 may also be the biggest year in franchise history, which could lead to high tensions and additional pressure. It will be up to the veteran leaders to ensure the team remains calm, cool, and collected.
The Nats need veterans to step up in 2018, especially after losing Werth, and Murphy is the perfect man for the job.
Although Murphy’s status for Opening Day and future with the Nats are up in the air, he should produce a phenomenal season. If his first two seasons with the Nats are an indication of what is to come in 2018, he could help bring a parade to South Capitol Street.