There are a slew of options that Manager Dave Martinez could slot in at the hot corner, but each of them will be a downgrade to what fans are used to seeing at third base.
The Nationals entered this Spring with question marks at both corner infield positions. We should expect to see a healthy mix of Howie Kendrick, Eric Thames and Ryan Zimmerman at first base, assuming they stay healthy. However, who will be playing third base is a different type of conversation.
It’s no secret that the Nationals lost All-Star Anthony Rendon to the Los Angeles Angels in free agency in December. A year ago, Rendon led the major leagues in RBI with 126 while batting .319 with 34 home runs and a league-best 44 doubles. To say that the Nationals will struggle to fill his void both on the field and at the dish is an understatement.
Throughout the Spring, the Nationals have had an internal competition for who will be the everyday third baseman. While the winner of the said competition will have big shoes to fill, it will be the team as a whole that will need to find a way to spread Rendon’s 2019 production across the entire lineup.