Once a position of weakness, the Washington Nationals completely revamped their catching situation at the trade deadline, acquiring Keibert Ruiz, Riley Adams, and Drew Millas. With Tres Barrera also in the minors, Washington has turned what had been a revolving door into a position of strength.
Yet, due to their plethora of catching depth, the Nationals have too many mouths to feed. Ruiz and Adams were projected to be the Nationals 2022 battery, leaving Barrera as the odd man out. Fortunately, with the announcement of the universal DH being implemented this season, Washington has a reason to carry three catchers on the roster next season.
The Universal DH Just Solved The Washington Nationals Catcher Logjam
Ryan Zimmerman was expected to be the Nationals’ primary DH, but his retirement derailed that. Instead, unless the Nationals sign someone when the lockout ends, expect Riley Adams to start in that role. Acquired for Brad Hand at the trade deadline, he impressed down the stretch with his new team.
In 35 games with the Nats, he hit .268, with two homers, 10 RBIs, and an OPS of .887. Known for his power, he provides some extra protection in the lineup that surely needs it. Most notably last season Adams flashed his clutch gene. With two outs in the ninth and down 2-1, Adams crushed a two-run homer to steal a game from the Braves.
Adams also started receiving reps during practice at first and it wouldn’t be surprising if he also becomes Josh Bell’s backup.
Transitioning Adams to DH, allows Barrera to become the backup catcher. Barrera was originally seen as the odd man out, losing his spot on the roster last season when Adams and Ruiz were called up. In 30 games with Washington last year, he hit .264, with two homers, 10 RBIs, and an OPS of .758.
Rounding out the catching trio is Ruiz, Washington’s starter. The prize of the Max Scherzer/Trea Turner trade, the 23-year-old has the tools to be a franchise cornerstone. Called up at the end of last season, he hit .284, with two homers, 14 RBIs, and an OPS of .743.