The Nationals Shake Up Their Roster Yet Again

In a week that has already seen Eddie Rosario designated for assignment and Joey Meneses demoted to AAA Rochester, and Riley Adams recalled in favor of Drew Millas, the Nationals have made yet another roster move today.
Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals
Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages

It has been a busy week for the Nationals front office as they have shaken up their roster yet again today, this time recalling 3B/UTL Trey Lipscomb from AAA Rochester.

The move in and of itself is not surprising, but this is a bit of a new mindset from the Nationals' management as they are clearly sending a message to the roster that if you are not performing, you are not safe. In recent seasons the team would just trot out players like Maikel Franco, Alcides Escobar and Dom Smith game after game without any real effort to upgrade. Now it seems the Nationals are done doing that, and while their corresponding moves might not be a massive upgrade, they are at least trying and doing so by utilizing the youth movement.

Trey Lipscomb had a scorching Spring Training for the team, and was actually called upon in place of Nick Senzel for Game 2 of the season after Senzel fractured his thumb taking grounders ahead of Opening Day. Lipscomb got off to a good start, but cooled off dramatically afterwards. In a couple of stints with the Nationals already this season, Lipscomb has hit .237 in 118 At Bats. In his limited time, Lipscomb has managed to accrue a 0.5 bWAR.

The good news for Lipscomb, other than the fact he is getting another shot in the Majors, is that he will likely stick on the roster for the remainder of the season. With Nick Senzel now gone, Lipscomb will see the majority of games at Third Base, where he won a Gold Glove in the Minor Leagues last year.

The flip side is of course cutting ties with Nick Senzel. The former number 2 overall pick signed a one year prove it deal with Washington this offseason. Heralded for his contact tool as a prospect, Senzel has never been able to put it together as a pro, being released by Cincinnati following the 2023 season. There was some thought that Senzel finally settling in at one position, being Third Base, instead of moving all over the field would help him find more consistency at the plate. While that may have helped initially, it was more of the same with Senzel.

Senzel hit .209 in 235 Plate Appearances this season with seven home runs and a .663 OPS. Over the past four weeks, Senzel has hit .175 in that span, with a .150 average in the last two weeks and a .125 average in the past week. Safe to say there was not any sign of progress or breaking out of the slump, so the Nationals decided it was time for a change.

So in this week alone we have seen the Nationals DFA Eddie Rosario and Nick Senzel, and demote Joey Meneses and Drew Millas to AAA Rochester. In defense of Drew Millas, his situation was more so that the hot-hitting Riley Adams could come back up and hopefully provide more of a spark to the lineup. The others had severely underperformed this season.

In their place we now have James Wood, Trey Lipscomb, Juan Yepez and Riley Adams - all of whom profile as much better offensively than their predecessors. It is a widespread effort to improve what has been an anemic offense.

I have been critical at times of this team's management, and while they still do plenty to annoy me, I really appreciate this concerted effort to improving the lineup. They are doing what they can with what they have, even if it means booting players that have been around for a while or signed deals this past offseason. While they lost for the third time in extra innings this week in last night's contest against the Cardinals, they did manage 14 hits. Now they need to cash in on those hits and baserunners and the offense will look much better.

Here's how the Nationals lineup currently looks:

1. CJ Abrams - SS
2. Lane Thomas - RF
3. James Wood - LF
4. Jesse Winker - DH
5. Juan Yepez/Harold Ramirez - 1B
6. Luis Garcia - 2B
7. Keibert Ruiz/Riley Adams - C
8. Trey Lipscomb - 3B
9. Jacob Young - CF