Washington Nationals: Three Reasons For Optimism Despite The Slow Start
By Max Rayman
Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber are finally clicking
Brought in during the off-season to provide some much-needed pop, Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber were a major reason for the team’s slow start. They both started the season on the COVID list and when they finally returned, both looked out of whack.
Their timing was thrown off and they struggled because of it. Josh Bell hit .119, with two homers, five RBIs, and an OPS of .464 in the month of April, but has hit .277, with three homers, 13 RBIs, and an OPS of .796 since the calendar flipped to May. In Friday’s game against the O’s, Bell recorded his first three-hit night as a National, driving in a run in a 3-0 win.
On the season, Kyle Schwarber is hitting .234, with eight homers, 22 RBIs, and an OPS of .798. He already has two walk-off homers on the season, but has only recently started to consistently produce. Against the O’s, Schwarber went 5-12, with one homer, four RBIs, and two walks.
Washington’s offense has excelled at getting on base, but has been dreadful with runners in scoring position. With Schwarber and Bell heating up, the middle of the Nationals lineup becomes so much more potent. Now, Juan Soto finally has protection behind him, allowing the lineup to reach its full capabilities.