After the news came down that Michael Taylor will miss significant time, 21-year-old Victor Robles will be the Washington Nationals center fielder.
The Washington Nationals were faced with some tough news on Friday as the team learned that Michael A. Taylor will miss “significant” time with a knee and hip injury. Tweet Via Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports.
Taylor was in a battle for the starting centerfielder spot, and his unavailability assures that 21-year-old Victor Robles will be the team’s starter. In the past two weeks, Robles had in many peoples opinions moved ahead of Taylor for the starting job.
If his play this spring is any indication of what is to come during the regular season, the Nationals are in good hands. Robles is hitting at a clip of .375/.475/.594 with two home runs, seven runs batted in, and five stolen bases during the spring.
His five stolen bases are incredibly intriguing and impressive, and he will be able to add an element of speed at the bottom of the Washington order that the team has not had in a few years.
Although Robles has been outstanding with the bat and on the basepaths, his play in the outfield has been anything but spectacular. Robles has struggled to track balls in center field, and three times has lost a ball in the sun causing a runner to reach base.
Playing center field in the Major Leagues is not easy, and Robles will go through trial and error defensively as many young outfielders do. The more comfortable he gets in the outfield, the easier the position will become. Many outfielders just need to play the position for a year or so to get the hang of judging the way balls come differently in center rather than right or left.
Despite the news of Taylor’s injury, it is exciting to realize that we will get to see Victor Robles play every day. He may be the biggest wildcard on the team, and if Robles is what the Nationals expect him to be, look out for the Nationals this season.