Washington Nationals: Time for Pedro Severino to shine

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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 8: Pedro Severino #29 of the Washington Nationals hits an RBI single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on May 8, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 8: Pedro Severino #29 of the Washington Nationals hits an RBI single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on May 8, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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After Washington Nationals catcher Matt Wieters went down with an injury in Thursday’s game, it’s over to Pedro Severino again to shine behind the plate.

Despite the win on Thursday night, the Washington Nationals suffered yet another injury early in the game. Matt Wieters went down with a left hamstring injury in the second inning. He was relieved by Pedro Severino, who has the chance to excel behind the plate for the Nats.

Severino didn’t start the season on the Nationals Opening Day roster after a disappointing spring. But after a Wieters injury in the second game of the season, he was called up to be the backup behind Miguel Montero.

Now another Wieters injury has opened up a different opportunity. He has the chance to claim the primary starting catcher role all for himself. And he could stay there when Wieters returns.

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Pedro Severino’s bat has been a key factor in allowing him to stick with the Nationals so far this season. Hitting .266 with 8 RBI and even a stolen base has been solid enough production for a bottom third hitter.

He’s also displayed an impressive eye at the plate, with 10 walks and just 17 strikeouts. He’s not been chasing pitches when he doesn’t need to. This played huge in the walk-off win against the Phillies, as he drew the walk to tie the game in the ninth inning.

This was particularly impressive, as the amount of young players who would go for broke on a base hit to win the game is very high. So to sit back and take what Hector Neris gave him stood out.

But the young backstop has long been highly regarded defensively, and that’s been evident in the bigs this season. He’s sixth in the major leagues in Defensive Runs Saved for a catcher with 3.0, and ranks sixth in overall defense for catchers, with at least 160 innings, according to Fangraphs at 2.4.

Severino has also caught 7 of 17 base-stealers this year, including one of the fastest men in the league, Jarrod Dyson. This is just one example of his incredible defensive skills:

https://twitter.com/Nationals/status/995006195948810241

The pitchers on the staff also trust his pitch calling during a game, as we’ve previously heard Max Scherzer rave about him calling a good game. Scherzer in particular has good success with the young catcher. He’s the catcher that Max has the lowest ERA when throwing to, with more than one game together.

All-in-all Pedro Severino has turned himself into the most well-rounded catcher on the Nationals roster. So expect him to take this opportunity with both hands and win the majority of starts for the rest of the season.

Next: Scherzer's most dominant stretch ever?

If Pedro Severino can do lock down the role, then we could be seeing him behind the plate for many years at Nationals Park. Some much needed stability at a position that hasn’t had it since Wilson Ramos left.

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