Nationals: 3 early-season takes that look really stupid right now

Stephen Strasburg #37 and Yan Gomes #10 of the Washington Nationals walk off the field after the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on June 01, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Stephen Strasburg #37 and Yan Gomes #10 of the Washington Nationals walk off the field after the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on June 01, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Nationals leadoff hitter Victor Robles has not been a stolen base threat this year.
Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers tags out Victor Robles #16 of the Washington Nationals in the seventh inning trying to steal second base during a baseball game at Nationals Park on July 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

2. “Victor Robles will lead the team in stolen bases.”

All of the variables seemed to line up for Victor Robles to lead the team in stolen bases this year. Trea Turner was going to be moved to the three spot in the batting order, and with either Josh Bell or Kyle Schwarber hitting behind him, he wouldn’t run as much. Robles swiped 28 bags in 2019 and was going to slide into the leadoff position, ready to run. After a down year at the plate, he would have to rebound and get on base more, giving him plenty of stolen base opportunities.

Turner has been gone a month, though he will end up leading the team in stolen bases, and it won’t even be close. In fact, with his 21, he is the only player in double figures right now. Robles is second with 8. Base running has not been a strength for the Nationals this year, as evidenced by their 68% success rate in stealing. Robles, is not an exception. He’s been caught six times and has run during some questionable moments in games.

We assumed Robles was fast right? Not Trea Turner fast. Apparently, not Andrew Stevenson or Lane Thomas fast either.

Another issue is Robles’ ability to get on base. While he hasn’t walked much in his career, his free passes are up a little this year, though his base hits are down drastically. Robles is hitting .206. He’s just not getting on base, enough to steal. Big Stick Vic has fallen out of favor with Nationals fans, for that reason.

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