When the Washington Nationals signed outfielder Gerardo Parra to a minor league contract this offseason I thought for sure he’d make the 26-man roster out of spring training. I opined Yadiel Hernandez would ultimately be a loser in the transaction, as he would fall another rung on the depth chart.
In fact, while Hernandez fights for a roster spot which may not happen, Parra’s days with the Nationals are numbered.
The emergence of outfielder Yadiel Hernandez this spring has most likely put an end to Gerardo Parra’s reunion tour with the Nationals.
The top four outfielders on the Nationals roster was set in stone when players arrived to camp this spring. With his hot hitting thus far, Hernandez has pushed the envelope some on him breaking camp with the team, and sealed the fate of Parra.
While the left-handed hitting Hernandez is a long shot to make the team, behind the left handed hitting fourth outfielder, Andrew Stevenson, Parra has had trouble coming back from off-season knee surgery.
Signed after a year playing in Japan, the Nationals had hoped Parra would bring back some of the clubhouse leadership and Parra Shark mystique he left town with after the 2019 World Series. To this point Parra has appeared in just three games this spring for the Nationals as he continues to rehab his barking knee.
The nostalgia is nice and keeping things loose is wonderful, though the bottom line for this business is contributing on the field. The 13 hits in 26 at-bats Hernandez has accumulated thus far this spring has made the decision to let Parra go, easier to make.
Parra will turn 34 years-old in a couple months and is slowed by injuries. Hernandez will also turn 34 this year, later in the season, and has done nothing but hit during his time in the Nationals system.
At this point the time has come to let Parra go and see if he can latch on with another organization before the season starts. As for the depth of the Nationals outfield, Yadiel Hernandez has earned himself the right to be the next man up.