Washington Nationals catcher Pedro Severino has been a rare bright spot recently, taking full advantage of his unexpected opportunity.
Since Wilson Ramos departed following the 2016 season, the Washington Nationals have had a glaring weakness behind the plate. Matt Wieters and Jose Lobaton formed an abysmal catching tandem last year, which contributed to the team’s ultimate demise.
Now, Lobaton has been replaced by veteran Miguel Montero. Although Montero was at one point an above-average backstop, he is past his prime. He has been uninspiring over the last couple years, including a slow start in 2018.
Wieters is currently on the disabled list and Montero is on paternity leave, which has created an unexpected opportunity for Pedro Severino.
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Fortunately, Severino has taken full advantage of his playing time. In five games, he has slashed .417/.588/.500 with three RBI and a stolen base. In addition to contributing at the plate, he has been even better behind it.
Severino’s solid defense has been on full display, as he has blocked countless breaking balls from Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark over the last couple games. He has also thrown out a runner and almost picked off another.
Although Severino did not break camp with the team, he is making a strong case to become the full-time backup. Montero will rejoin the team on Tuesday, presumably taking Jhonatan Solano‘s roster spot, but the Nats will have a decision to make when Wieters returns.
The Nats may feel differently, but the general consensus is that Severino deserves to remain with the team over Montero.
Until then, here is what we are reading:
Everyone knows Victor Robles and Juan Soto, but Blake Perkins and Yasel Antuna are much lesser-known prospects. Despite flying under the radar, the Nats have big plans for Perkins, Antuna, and several over lesser-known prospects. Blake Finney has you covered on which Nats prospects to monitor.
If the Nats do not take action, Bryce Harper is about seven months from embarking on what will likely be a historic free agency. However, he still has at least one season left with the Nats and has gotten off to a great start. Eddie Matz discusses his enormous contract year.
After racing to four wins in their first four games, the Nats dropped four in a row to fall to .500. Adam Eaton and Harper got off to great starts, but Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Taylor struggled out of the gate. Todd Zolecki takes a look back at the first week of the season.
The Nats have lost five consecutive games, which has included some lackluster offensive performances. Although Howie Kendrick has impressed as the starting second baseman, the team desperately misses Daniel Murphy. Chelsea Janes provides an update on Murphy’s status.
With that, we hope you have the best Monday possible and get to see the Nats break their losing streak tonight!