Washington Nationals: Moises Sierra likely to become victim of numbers crunch

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 14: Moises Sierra
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 14: Moises Sierra /

Washington Nationals outfielder Moises Sierra has impressed during his unexpected opportunity. Will he remain in the majors when everyone is healthy?

The Washington Nationals have always been an injury-prone bunch, which has created opportunities for under-the-radar players. Last year, Michael Taylor and Wilmer Difo excelled while filling in for starters.

Unfortunately, the Nats have remained injury-prone early in 2018. Pedro Severino used Matt Wieters‘ injury to force his way onto the roster and Howie Kendrick has raked in Daniel Murphy‘s absence.

Severino and Kendrick have received quite a bit of attention, but Moises Sierra has largely gone unnoticed.

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Sierra, a 29-year-old outfielder, has quietly impressed with Adam Eaton and Brian Goodwin on the disabled list. When a few injuries left the Nats in need of an outfielder, Andrew Stevenson was the favorite to receive a promotion. However, Sierra got the call due to a strong spring.

In 30 games this spring, Sierra slashed .321/.383/.491 with two homers and 11 RBI. It is important not to read too much into spring stats, but Dave Martinez was very impressed with what he saw in Sierra. Martinez praised Sierra when he was recalled, mentioning his quality at-bats and strong arm.

Although it is a small sample size, Sierra has rewarded Martinez for believing in him.

In 10 games, Sierra has slashed .250/.267/.321 with two doubles, three RBI, and a stolen base. He has played so well that Martinez has been routinely penciling him into the fifth spot in the lineup.

Unfortunately for Sierra, his time in the majors may be coming to an end. Stevenson will likely be sent down when Eaton returns in the next few days, but Goodwin is due to return shortly as well. When Goodwin returns, Sierra will presumably be out of a roster spot.

Goodwin established himself in the majors last year and got off to a solid start in 2018, so his roster spot should be safe. He can also play all three outfield positions, which gives the Nats some valuable versatility.

Sierra, on the other hand, is strictly a corner outfielder. If he were to take Goodwin’s spot on the roster, the Nats would be forced to put Eaton or Bryce Harper in center if Taylor needed a day off. Both Eaton and Harper have played center field before, but the Nats would like to avoid playing them there if possible.

Goodwin is also out of options, which strengthens his case. The Nats would undoubtedly lose him if they sent him to the minors in favor of Sierra.

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Sierra has impressed, but there is not room for him on the roster if everyone is healthy. Injuries are bound to occur, though, so he will return to the majors at some point.