Washington Nationals: Lineup card should reflect results, not reputation

Josh Bell #19 of the Washington Nationals is congratulated by Dave Martinez #4 after scoring a run against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 09, 2021 in in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Josh Bell #19 of the Washington Nationals is congratulated by Dave Martinez #4 after scoring a run against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 09, 2021 in in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Here we are again, with Washington Nationals manager Davey Martinez penciling Josh Bell‘s name on the lineup card. As a concerned fan, watching his team sit in a four game losing streak, I am wondering why. Why are the Nationals running a guy out there who is hitting .133 this deep into the season? Especially when he is taking the place of a guy who is hitting .302 ( with the second highest OPS on the team).

This isn’t 2019. The Nationals can’t afford to fall in a 19-31 hole. Bumpy roads lead to beautiful places alright, though nothing is saying the Nats still have the map to that beautiful place. As much as we want Bell to succeed, he needs to find his hitting stroke. With the Nats struggling to tread water, each at-bat is critical, and sending Bell to the plate four times a night isn’t the answer.

The Nationals need to sit Josh Bell before they dig a hole too deep to get out of.

This isn’t a Chris Davis situation. The slugger turned automatic out. I like Chris Davis and want him to contribute to his team. For three years he hit less than .180 and made $23M each year, to do it. Bell is not making loads of money. The Nationals don’t need to play him to justify the salary, or the trade. I’m not venturing as far as moving on from Bell, but he hasn’t earned the right to get regular plate appearances right now.

Martinez continues to believe in Bell because of his track record.

"I know what Josh Bell can do. He’s done it in the past so he’s gonna get the opportunity to play. It’s still early for him. I think he’s getting close. I really do.Josh, I know I believe in Josh and I know what he can do so we gotta get him going. I’ve said this before, we’re not gonna win without him. He’s a big part of our lineup and I truly believe that."

The Nationals are not winning with Bell in the lineup, they need to try to win with him out of the lineup. Winning is the key. Winning solves everything. If Josh Bell hits .133 on a winning team, we are not having this conversation. A winning Nationals team would have time for him to pull himself out of this funk. There’s no time right now.

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Josh Bell needs fixed. Until he is, there is no room for him in the lineup. Davey needs to make the lineup card based on 2021 results, not what a player has done in the past.

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