Once thought to be in the same breath as players such as CJ Abrams and Keibert Ruiz as key pieces to the Nationals' future, Luis García seems to have really fallen out of favor with the coaching staff. García was on the receiving end of a shocking demotion to AAA Rochester in early August. While he was not necessarily hitting the cover off the ball, García was not necessarily the problem either to the Nationals' offensive woes and most of their issues, mainly the lack of power, were systemic and not isolated to any one player.
As we later found out, García was assigned to AAA to work on his routine and game preparation. He did not light up the competition during his AAA stint, but whatever he did work on must have worked as he has been great in his time back with the Nationals. In 18 games back with the club, García has an .872 OPS over 58 At-Bats. It is a small sample size, but encouraging nonetheless.
As it stands now, García is penciled in as the Nationals' starting second baseman in 2024, and I think he will still get a fair shot at proving himself as the long-term answer at the position. However, I think the Nationals are much more open to other options at second base than they were at the start of the 2023 season. The emergence of Trey Lipscomb in AA Harrisburg, who will likely find himself in AAA Rochester to start the 2024 campaign, offers the Nationals a very intriguing option should García revert back to his former self. Lipscomb is also already a better defender than García, as he was awarded the Nationals Minor League Defensive Player of the Year.
He has work to do, but I still believe Luis García deserves a chance in 2024 based on his strong month of September.