Washington Nationals: 1 player who should play more, 1 that should less
Well, the Los Angeles Dodgers came to DC and throttled the Washington Nationals. Maybe you saw it coming. I sure didn’t. Maybe it wasn’t a throttling as much as a taking care of business and moving on. Of the four games, really the Nationals could have walked away with wins in any of them. There were some lop-sided final scores, though even in those games, the Nationals were positioned to win.
A banged up, hurting unit, is what the Nationals are, limping to the All-Star break. They have the opportunity to salvage a couple games on the road trip before getting some much needed rest, which in turn, helps them get healthy.
Fresh off a four game sweep at the hands of Los Angeles, here is one player who needs to play more and one who needs to play less for the Nationals.
There was always a huge risk with bringing back Gerardo Parra. The atmosphere was electric the first time he stepped to the plate, and he rewarded the fans by hitting a double. He hasn’t done much since and the team can not afford to have him on the team solely as a cheerleader.
Manager Davey Martinez has chosen him to pinch hit in critical moments of games, hoping the excitement aroused will somehow help him succeed in his at-bat. It hasn’t. Now, with Kyle Schwarber on the Injured List for the foreseeable future, there is a spot in the outfield up for grabs. Parra replaced Schwarber the first two games, and went 0-7 with three strikeouts. Add in a pinch-hit strikeout in the series finale, and Parra has one hit in his last 14 at-bats.
Hitting .154 isn’t enough to justify a roster spot, let alone a starting position. What kind of message do the Nationals send if Parra is designated for assignment? Until that time comes, Parra needs to see the field as little as possible.
With the way Alcides Escobar has hit since coming over in a trade from the Kansas City Royals, a healthy Trea Turner pushes him to second base, moving Josh Harrison to left field.
As well as Andres Machado has pitched, he needs to be trusted to pitch more often, or in higher leverage situations. Machado was less than stellar in his 2017 debut with the Royals. In fact, his ERA was a gruesome 22.09.
He seems to have found what ailed him. In three games with the Nationals, covering three innings, Machado has allowed one hit and struck out five. Daniel Hudson and Tanner Rainey will be back at some point, though until then Machado should be given the ball on a more regular basis.
Machado is throwing gas and blowing hitters away. Davey’s mantra is to ride a reliever until his arm falls off. Time to see how well Machado’s is attached.