Alex Call vs. Stone Garrett: Who does Robles replace?

Victor Robles will soon be making his return to the Nationals; which of these two outfielders is the odd man out?
Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves
Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves / Brett Davis/GettyImages

The Nationals have an outfield problem. Thankfully, it's not a long-term problem as the top 3 prospects in the system in James Wood, Robert Hassell III, and Elijah Green are all outfielders. The Nationals will also be picking #2 in the upcoming MLB draft, where some of the top prospects such as Dylan Crews, Wyatt Langford and others are outfielders as well. Don't worry, we'll have plenty of Nationals draft coverage coming soon.

The current issue is this: Victor Robles will soon be completing a rehab assignment in the minor leagues, meaning that there would be 5 outfielders currently with the Nationals. We all know that's too many, so who is the odd man out?

Lane Thomas has been the best hitter on the team and Corey Dickerson was signed to be a veteran leader and ideally flipped at the deadline, so they are safe. That leaves Alex Call and Stone Garrett. Who should stay with the Nats? Who should be sent down to Triple-A?

Let's allow them each to plead their case.

Alex Call

Alex Call
Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

2023 Stats: .212 BA, 46 hits, 20 RBIs, 3 home runs, 48 strikeouts. Last 5 Games: 2 hits, 1 strikeout.

In a season that has already brought much more action Call's way than last year, his batting average has slumped from .242 to .212. That is the lowest number out of the "consistent" guys. In 35 games last year, Call homered five times, while only three times this year in 64 games. Of the team's qualified hitters, Call also has the lowest OPS at an abysmal .590 mark.

He's tallied the fifth most strikeouts (48) on the team so far this season. Call has gotten off to a rocky start, which is why I could definitely see a path where he sees time in Rochester.

However, we have to give credit where credit is due. He's a stable outfielder who is certainly capable of playing alongside Lane Thomas and (insert one of Stone Garrett, Corey Dickerson, or Victor Robles here). And, you can hang this one in the louvre.

His defense certainly isn't the question. But what is the question is if the Nationals continue to roster a player with the second worst OPS mark in all of baseball in favor of defensive versatility.

Stone Garrett

Stone Garrett
Arizona Diamondbacks v Washington Nationals / Rob Carr/GettyImages

2023 Stats: .275 BA, 30 hits, 15 RBIs, 3 home runs, 37 strikeouts. Last 5 Games: 3 hits, 1 HR, 1 SO.

Clearly the fan favorite between the two, there is certainly an argument for Garrett to remain in DC instead of making the trip for yet another stint with Rochester. A move back to Triple-A would certainly bring moans of backlash from Nationals fans, as I believe Stone is as loved as some of our other prospects. Fans need something to root for, and Garrett is the epitomy of that.

What Call may bring on the defensive end, Stone Garrett more than makes up for on the offensive side of the ball, with at least flashes of potential. Exhibit A:

With that said, Stone Garrett still has work to do. He's still working on consistency, which would make this decision a no-brainer if the Nationals were trying to be competitive and win games (which they are, they're just not very good at it). Garrett has been great against fastballs and offspeed pitches, hitting over .300 on both, but it is breaking balls that he has struggled mightily against, and opposing pitchers have picked up on it. Still, he has improved as of late whereas Call has regressed after a strong start.

What do I want to happen?

I wish that Stone Garrett would stay up. His better batting average is something that the Nationals need, as well as his home run power. Plus, it would just be more fun. I'm not sure how long it will be until the Nationals need to make another move at outfield, due to injury or a trade, that makes this decision even harder.

What do I think will happen?

Unfortunately, I think Garrett might be back down in Rochester. This decision could really go either way; however I think this will be another one of the seemingly many questionable decisions that Davey Martinez has made. But to give the benefit of the doubt, Call is a bit more consistent defensively, so if that is what Martinez is going for, this is the right Call (see what I did there?)

All statistics via