The Washington Nationals offense has been nothing if not inconsistent to start 2018. So we start grading each player’s performance so far this year.
Consistently inconsistent. That’s the best way to describe the offense of the Washington Nationals so far in 2018.
You could see this in a microcosm over the past week. Against the Philadelphia Phillies, they put up 13 runs over the three games, including the huge clutch hitting on Sunday night. But then against the Tampa Bay Rays, the offense disappeared and was shutout in both games.
It’s difficult to point to one particular issue that has caused the Nationals to go from one of the best offenses to a middle of the road lineup. But when it comes down to it, injuries and massive underperformance from some hitters are the key factors.
For example, if the Nats have Daniel Murphy, or Adam Eaton available for the whole season, it would’ve been game-changing. But also if Bryce Harper or any of the catchers stepped up to their true levels, it’d be equally difference-making.
Hopefully, this can change in Philadelphia this weekend, with the injuries dying down, and players coming out of slumps. But until then, it’s time to evaluate some of the hitters individually.
After we graded the starting rotation earlier this year, it’s time to do the same for the offense. We decided to set the threshold at 80 plate appearances so that we have a reasonable enough sample size.
This grade also takes into account defense, as it’s an important part of playing on offense. So let’s get started with one of the Nats’ spark plugs at the top of the lineup.