Howie Kendrick is Crushing Baseballs
Nationals veteran Howie Kendrick has rebounded from an Achilles injury in 2018 to perform in 2019 like he always has over his 14 year Major League career.
The .292 lifetime hitter has been better than that so far in 2019, hitting an impressive .338 over the first 32 games of the campaign. Kendrick has provided some power at the plate as well, hitting four homers, driving in 14 runs (third best on the team behind Rendon and Soto) and posting a sterling .959 OPS.
Able to play multiple positions, Kendrick gives Dave Martinez some flexibility in dealing with injuries and slumps by players in starting roles.
Last night, Kendrick started at third base but transitioned across the diamond to first base after Matt Adams left the game with a shoulder injury.
He also provides something that may be just as valuable. In Spring Training this year, Martinez told The Washington Post reporter Jesse Dougherty that Kendrick is “the constant” in the Nats clubhouse.
After losing Jayson Werth, the Nats lost a big piece of their team in this regard, especially on the position player side of the roster.
Kendrick’s experience, leadership, and talents, both on the field and in the locker room, will be crucial for Washington as it tries to improve on its rough start to the season.