Anthony Rendon made a start at second base for the Harrisonburg Senators on Monday night. Could this be a direct reflection to the struggling second basemen on the Washington Nationals?
The second base position is far from set on the Nationals. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to who will be starting game to game. Espinosa is hitting a despicable .163 with 40 strikeouts (two of the Nationals pitchers have a better batting average than him). Steve Lombardozzi is an upgrade to the position, but not by much. Lombardozzi is hitting .220 with a .245 OBP. Again it is an upgrade and I would love to see Lombardozzi get the starting roll as the Nationals second baseman, but there may be another answer to this problem.
Anthony Rendon could be brought up to the Nationals to play second base. Davey Johnson had this to say about a move like this, “We like him – we like him a lot, but putting him at second at the major-league level, he’s not there yet. He’s not (playing second) specifically. He’s just occasionally going over there.” He also said that Lombardozzi, and triple A prospect Zack Walters rank ahead of Rendon to replace Espinosa.
Normally I would listen to everything that Davey Johnson says but I think he might be off on this one. In baseball there is one factor that trumps all. Are they hitting? Espinosa, Lombardozzi, and Walters are not.
Rendon is hitting .390 with a .550 OBP and a 1.280 OPS since being moved back to double A. With the Nationals offense being as bad as it is right now the player that is hitting is going to get the start. The Nationals are ranked 13th in the National League in runs per game (only the Miami Marlins are worse), and if they want to make it back to the playoffs this year they have to start scoring runs.
The Nationals need to get the ball moving and start making some moves to spark the offense. Injuries are something that you can’t control, but the Nationals have enough young firepower to still make a run. It will be interesting to see if Washington will find a way to get Anthony Rendon on the roster.