The Washington Nationals have brought Carter Kieboom back into the fold, and his remaining twenty-three games could determine the role he has with the team in the future.
Over the last couple of weeks we have given a lot of space to Carter Kieboom, his struggles, and his usage. With news surfacing today he has rejoined the team, he’ll have twenty-three games to prove he can hit major league pitching, or he may not get another chance.
Seems dramatic I know. After the Nationals jettisoned him to the alternate training site two weeks ago “to get his swing right”, I’m not so sure it’s far from the truth, though.
Kieboom was granted eleven games in 2019 to show he belonged. He responded by hitting .128. This year Kieboom was told third base was his job to lose.
He lost it.
Washington gave him 17 games to hang onto the job, though Kieboom failed to produce offensively and was sent down. He had an average of .200 with zero extra base hits. Fifty percent of the outs Kieboom made were via the strikeout.
If history repeats itself, the Nationals may not give this top prospect much time to settle in.
With hopes of making the playoffs this year all but gone, the team needs to evaluate who will be a part of the future. Wilmer Difo will not be, as he was designated for assignment to make room for Kieboom’s return.
If Kieboom can produce modest results even, I think the Nationals will go into the offseason looking to upgrade other areas aside from third base.
If Kieboom struggles to hit, I believe he forces the Nationals hand a little bit. They may sign someone in free agency to hold down the position a couple of years, relegating Kieboom to a bench position. Or Kieboom will be traded to help upgrade other areas of the team.
At 23-years of age, Kieboom is young still and has time to develop. After two short stints at the big league level, the Nationals may not award him this time though.
I am a Carter Kieboom fan so I am hoping for the best. No better time to get that first extra base hit of the year, than the present.