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Nats hoping Desmond’s long slump is nearing its end

Jun 26, 2015, 8:37 AM EST

Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) celebrates with his teammates after a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Washington. The Nationals won 7-0. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

You’re not supposed to glean much from a two-game stretch, especially in the context of a full baseball season. But for Ian Desmond and the Nationals, the past 48 hours have provided hope that the three-time Silver Slugger Award winner could be on the verge of ending his prolonged slump.

After notching the game-winning RBI the previous night in extra innings, Desmond came back Thursday with two hits in the Nats’ 7-0 win over the Braves; one was a third-inning two-run home run, the other a sharp single up the middle in the eighth.

While manager Matt Williams told reporters afterwards that driving pitches to centerfield is a sign of a hitter who’s seeing the ball well lately, at this point Desmond isn’t exactly going to complain about how they fall.

“I don’t really discriminate on hits,” he deadpanned. “I don’t really care where they go.”

One of quickest ways Desmond can get out of his doldrums is to solve one of his biggest bug-a-boos: Strikeouts. He’s been rung up 59 times combined in May and June, while drawing just seven walks over that span. He managed to avoid a punch-out Thursday, which is just the third time he’s done that in his last 14 games.

“To be able to [with] two strikes, I laid off some balls in the dirt, which has been a struggle lately,” Desmond said.

Indeed, the 29-year-old’s struggles have been well documented over the season’s first half. Some have wondered if he’s truly healthy, if there’s additional pressure from being in a contract year or perhaps some other reason altogether. Whatever the source of his troubles are, his teammates say they still believe that his career track record is more telling of his true ability rather than what he’s shown thus far in 2015.

“I’m happy for him [that he hit the home run],” said Wilson Ramos. “I’m really happy for him because he is one of the best hitters on the team and he getting confident right now. So that’s what we need. We need that guy getting hot because everybody know he can bring runs in and hit homers. He’s one of the power hitters on the team so I’m happy for what he been doing the last two days. That make me feel happy for him.”

“We’ve never doubted Ian,” added Clint Robinson. “We know he’s going to come out and give us everything he’s got. Just because a guys has not put up the numbers he has in the past for two months after he’s done it for four years now, we don’t doubt him at all. We know it’s there. He’s gonna come back strong, and he’s gonna keep building on these past couple of games.

“We have all the confidence in the world in him.”

  1. laddieblahblah - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:10 AM

    Trea Turner reportedly promoted to AAA:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2015/06/25/trea-turner-promoted-to-class-aaa-syracuse/

    After less than 2 weeks in AA. They look to be fast-tracking the kid. Maybe Bowden knew something.

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:11 AM

      Maybe Bowden knew something.

      Maybe the blind squirrel found a nut. But probably not.

      • laddieblahblah - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:16 AM

        “Maybe the blind squirrel found a nut. But probably not.”

        We won’t have to wait long to find out. It may yet be Turner, and not Difo, who gets the August call-up, regardless. The move to AAA looks like a finishing school stopover for Turner, now rated behind only Giolito as the Nats best prospect.

      • natsnatsnatswoo - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:46 AM

        Werth and Zimmerman should be back by August. That will require two roster moves right there. Barring further injury, which no one wants to see, where are they supposed to find roster space for an August call-up?

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:55 AM

        In the blind squirrel’s mind, the roster spot gets cleared when the Nats deal Desi for a bucket of balls.

      • laddieblahblah - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:14 AM

        “Werth and Zimmerman should be back by August. That will require two roster moves right there.”

        Den Dekker for one. One of Moore, or Robinson, for another. Zim + CRob + Moore + Espinosa is an obvious oversupply to cover 1b.

        Look, the Nats are serious about Turner, like it or not. We’ll see how they handle it from now on, but Rizzo is going to deal with it. He always does. Nats fans and players did not want top see Adam Dunn leave, or Michael Morse, or Tyler Clippard, or Josh Willingham, et. al., but Mike did what he thought had to be done, in each case, for the best interests of the team. That is what he always does – again, like it or not.

      • natsnatsnatswoo - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:26 AM

        Unlike when Zimmerman was fast tracked, there is no gaping hole on the big league team for Trea Turner to fill. Even if Desmond is gone now or in 2016. Rizzo won’t rush him, even if he is MLB ready. He’ll get a Sept call up and a ST invite next year. But it would take an incredible spring combined with the collapse of Rendon, Espinosa, Escobar or Zimmerman for him to make the OD roster.

    • laddieblahblah - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:13 AM

      Harrisburg moved Difo back to SS, and Bostick back to 2nd last night.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:16 AM

        That’s the simpler and more obvious explanation–that it was a way to get both Difo and Turner regular time at SS.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:43 AM

        I agree, Hiram, this move gets Difo time at SS, which is good.

    • alexva6 - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:15 AM

      technically he’s been at AA all year.

      • laddieblahblah - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:18 AM

        Sure, but not for the Nats. Since he was hitting .359 for Harrisburg, after hitting .320 in the PCL, there was nothing further for him to prove at AA.

    • jd - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:25 AM

      In fairness Turner has been in AA all year. 2 weeks with us.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:32 AM

      Actually, he’s been in AA all year, at San Antonio before he got Named Later.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:33 AM

        I should report myself for that, but I don’t want to mess up the comments.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:41 AM

        Proceed to the nearest mirror, make a stern face, and wag your finger.

      • therealjohnc - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:54 AM

        AAaaaand this is why I should finish the comment thread before replying. I owe Sec 3 and alexva6 a drink!

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:14 AM

        We have a consecutive posts streak of five starters who posted without reading the rest of the thread first!

    • therealjohnc - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:53 AM

      After less than 2 weeks in AA.

      Well, to be fair, it’s after two weeks in AA Harrisburg. He had been in AA since the beginning of the season, but in AA San Antonio in the Padres organization. Given that the Texas League is not a particularly offense-friendly league and that San Antonio in particular is not a hitter friendly park, his hot start at Harrisburg (.359/.366/.513) isn’t SSS, it’s merely a continuation of what he had done before.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:02 AM

      I got that tip yesterday on Trea and posted it up. I like him better in AA just because I worry about that AAAA roster in Syracuse who have been playing poorly and uninspired. Easy to promote from AA and Bowden knows talent but still far-fetched to say he will be the Nats starting SS on Aug 1 2015. I think it’s almost 100% certainty Trea will be called up in September.

      The other thing a found out was Rizzo’s assistant called him up on Wednesday to tell him he made the All Star Futures roster and Trea was stoked.

  2. #4 - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    Just a comment on the comparison between AA and AAA. The players at AA as a group have a higher ceiling than the players at AAA. However, the overall play at AAA is more refined. The pitchers have better command and the batters have better strike zone judgement. That is why you will certainly see cases of guys – typically not highly rated prospects – who excel at AA but really struggle at AAA. Often for pitchers it’s because they have the type of stuff that less disciplined hitters chase out of the strike zone. For batters it’s a guy who has a hole in his swing that he cannot cover.

    AAA is also the “bitterest” level in baseball filled with guys who think they’ve been cheated by the game because they aren’t in the big leagues. Sometimes they are right.

    • jd - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:29 AM

      #4,

      Your overall assessment is correct . But notice Rizzo also put Ross in AAA. I think he is beginning to assemble the guys who are close at Syracuse. I think Difo is still not quite there and the other interesting prospect for me is catcher Pedro Severino who is supposedly a real defensive gem but is still developing as a hitter at 22.

      • #4 - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:36 AM

        jd – I think the general feeling in baseball is that once you’ve had success in the grandes ligas it would be odd to send you to AA unless you’re hurt. It makes sense to leave Difo at AA. While he looked promising in his cup of coffee, I wouldn’t say he showed as much as Ross. He still needs a more protected environment where he can hone his game. Severino’s probably in the same boat although I haven’t seen him play.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:35 AM

      And sometimes their AAA contract gets bought out so they can hold some Flavor-of-the-Month’s [hand] in the Bus Leagues.

      • alexva6 - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:41 AM

        it beats working at Sears

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:15 AM

        🙂

      • Candide - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:17 AM

        Boy, I worked there once. Sold Lady Kenmores. Nasty, whoa, nasty.

  3. jd - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:24 AM

    It’s really good if Desi is finally emerging from his slump firstly because he is a good guy and has brought a lot to the table for the Nats over the years and secondly because it would real help if his value can be rebuilt from a team stand point.

    Looking at the overall picture of the Nats infield it’s really hard to discern where Rizzo is going with this knowing full well that he has a plan. I think since the season started a few things happened differently than expected in my opinion.

    1) Escobar was supposed to be every day 2nd baseman – due to a spring training injury to Esco as well as the injury to Rendon Esco ended up on 3rd base.

    2) Espinosa was thought to be a bench middle infielder at best because he hasn’t hit in 2 full years – instead he somehow regained his stroke and has become a productive every day player.

    3) Trae Turner was supposed to take 2 years to develop but has dominated AA to an extent where he is probably very close to major league ready now.

    So if we start with a few givens I guess we can try to figure out how it will shake out.

    1) Turner is the SS of the very near future.

    2) You would like Rendon to return to his best position at 3rd base.

    3) You need Esco’s bat in the lineup as long as he’s hitting at this year’s levels.

    I think any way you slice it Desi is the odd man out, certainly in 2016 and I think Rizzo will make an effort to move him this year if he can get at least one good prospect in return. I also don’t really see a spot for Esco in 2016 if he can’t play 2nd base.

    Stay tuned. This will be interesting.

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:40 AM

      I think any way you slice it Desi is the odd man out, certainly in 2016

      Desi’s departure after 2015 became pretty clear last off-season, when Rizzo went out to get Turner and Esco.

      If Desi doesn’t turn it around, I still think we are more likely to see Espi at SS than Turner, at least until Sept.

      I haven’t done the math and don’t remember all the rules, but the Nats have an incentive not to start Turner’s MLB service clock too soon. Fans live for now, but Rizzo has to think years down the road.

      If they don’t call up Turner til June or so of next year, they get an extra year at the end.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:46 AM

        Yes, but if Turner looks really good at AAA, it will be tempting to call him up and play him. Would be nice to have someone with his skills and especially his speed in the lineup. Sometimes late season additions can be a big boost to a team’s chances in the postseason.

      • Hiram Hover - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:05 AM

        Tempting, yes.

        My point is that Rizzo–unlike us overeager fans–will weigh that temptation against the team’s long term plans for Turner, and the long term consequences of adding him to the MLB roster this soon.

      • laddieblahblah - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:32 AM

        “If Desi doesn’t turn it around…”

        FWIW, I think Desi is turning it around. In his 2nd AB he took a high FB on the outer half and hit it to RF, all the way into the RF bleachers. He has done that at least twice this year, that I can recall. The odd thing about that is not that he did it, yesterday, but that he doesn’t do it more often. Just take what the game is giving you and roll with it. It got my attention.

        Then, in his next AB, he got another elevated pitch on the outer half (from Aardsma, no less) but tried to pull it! The ball squirted off the end of his bat to the first baseman for an easy out. So I’m thinking WTH! Make up your mind. Go with the flow, or fight the game.

        Then, in his last AB, he looked to be much more selective than usual. When in a 2-strike count, the Braves threw the deadly off-speed breaker down and away, to put him away – but he didn’t bite. Never even flinched at that one. So they came to him on the nest pitch, right down the middle. He got enough wood on it to bounce a hit into CF.

        Small sample, but some very good indications. There weren’t any 5-run HR type swings, either. Espinosa started out this way earlier in the year, and just kept getting better and better at it.

        All Nats fans, and all Desi fans, should hope that Desi keeps it up, and refines what looked to be a new approach to the game. There is no downside, for him or the team, if he keeps it up.

      • npb99 - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:47 AM

        Yes, on that clock business, if Harper had been promoted later in 2012, I think we’d have him through 2019 rather than 2018 before FA hits. I recall it was an issue of a couple of weeks, but they needed reinforcements.

      • therealjohnc - Jun 26, 2015 at 12:35 PM

        I believe that Harper was called up pretty much the day after the Nats secured the extra year of team control – the same thing that the Cubs did with Kris Bryant this year. So it did not cost them a year of team control, but it meant that Harper would become arbitration eligible sooner. Now that was overstepped in part by his original contract, which then became a bit of a contest between Rizzo and Boras in the offseason.

        But bottom line no, the Nats did not do anything to keep them from the maximum amount of team control over Harper.

    • virginiascopist - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:59 AM

      No time to address every point, jd; however, I think Escobar can (and most likely will in 2016) play 2nd base. That’s what Rizzo brought him in to do. As you pointed out, because of injuries to himself and Rendon, he wasn’t able to get enough reps during spring training at 2nd; fortunately (and surprisingly to some of us), he has been able to acquit himself fairly well at 3rd. Assuming he is accepting of a move to 2nd, I think that’s where he will be in 2016. You are correct — it will be interesting.

  4. #4 - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:43 AM

    Has anybody seen Turner play? I know he has impressive offensive stats, but I keep remembering the reports that his lacked the arm strength to be an everyday big league SS. It seems odd to me that he is isn’t playing other positions at least some of the time given that the Nats have two controllable players on their MLB roster who clearly have shown they can play a good SS with plenty of arm strength.

    • therealjohnc - Jun 26, 2015 at 9:59 AM

      I’ve seen a minority of views expressing concern that Turner doesn’t have the arm to play SS, and I’ve also seen many prospect gurus say that’s hogwash, that Turner’s arm plays just fine at SS. Me? I haven’t the vaguest notion, I haven’t seen the guy play. But the Nats sticking with him at SS is an indicator that the team with the most at stake and the best ability to assess his play believe he’s a SS.

      Of course, the general principle is that you take a player as far as he can go at the more difficult position until he proves he can’t play it; only after that do you move him.

    • DaveB - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:08 AM

      SS is clearly viewed as the more valuable position, so teams will continue developing potential SS’s as long as possible, and only start a conversion to another spot when it is completely clear that they have a need elsewhere, or they decide SS won’t work out. As Hiram noted above, the simplest explanation for moving Turner to AAA is that the Nats want to keep developing both Turner & Difo at SS as long as possible.
      Despite all the hype, I believe the most likely course is that in 2016 Esco moves to SS, Rendon to 3rd & Danny to 2nd. Turner & Difo stay where they are now to keep playing every day until one of those starters either gets hurt or shows that this season was illusory.

  5. Theophilus T.S. - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:05 AM

    I think the “weak arm” critics have been drowned out by the “strong arm” admirers.

    Few SS arms are as strong as Desmond’s, although the ball doesn’t always go where he’s aiming (or maybe he doesn’t aim, period). In comparison, Turner may not be deemed to be a “strong” arm but I don’t think there has been any concrete evidence that it is less than completely adequate.

    • pdowdy83 - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:17 AM

      Exactly. I saw multiple reports of him having an average arm. Someone like Jhonny Peralta or Yunel Escobar. Not a cannon like Desmond or Espinosa. Plenty of people have played shortstop for a long time in the majors with an average arm.

  6. Joe Seamhead - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    I am bummed on a personal level because I was going to try to go up to Harrisburg in the next couple of weeks and watch a game, maybe two. No way will I do a trip to Syracuse.
    As to reports of Turner’s arm? Keep in mind that most of those were written about a skinny 19, or 20 year old kid. He wasn’t even finished growing yet. I have read reports that say he has gotten stronger and his accuracy was always there. And he has great range. He may not have an absolute cannon, but his arm is fine. He will turn 22 next Tuesday.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:19 AM

      Although … if you fold in a trip to Cooperstown, it might be worth taking a week or so.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:34 AM

        We just did the Cooperstown trip last fall. But the Ommegang beer on tap might be worth a return trip to the general area.

    • stormcrow44 - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:48 AM

      This is my first time commenting (even though I stalk Natsinsider comment section all the time). I’m a Nationals fan living in Louisville, KY (originally from NoVA). I like to take my kids to watch the Louisville Bats (Reds AAA team) at least once a year and I try to go when Syracuse is in town. On a personal note I was pumped to see that Turner will be with Syracuse right before they head for a 4 game series @ Louisville next week!

  7. homeparkdc - Jun 26, 2015 at 10:09 AM

    Let’s see if I got the nuance of the nomenclature correct.
    If a player has a brain-cramp – it’s an indication of not acting in time or not acting at all.
    If a player has a brain-furt – it’s an indication of acting too soon or taking the wrong action.
    If it’s so hard for us to understand, can we expect DEsmond to get it? 🙂

    Ian, please get those meanings correct along with this bat business.

  8. wearenationals - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:03 AM

    What about Desmond’s penchant of making fielding errors. Is that nearing its end?!? He may be getting over his batting slump, but I fear his fielding errors have a bigger negative impact.

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:06 AM

    http://m.mlb.com/video/v197423483/atlwsh-desmond-connects-for-a-tworun-homer/?game_pk=414741

    Real simple on Desi, in his slump his eyes were on centerfield as his bat crossed the plate. On the HR, his eyes are on his barrel.

    How many times can you tell a veteran to keep his head still and on the ball? He can see the video himself.

    • rayvil01 - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:32 AM

      “How many times can you tell a veteran to keep his head still and on the ball?”

      That’s not the question. The question is, “How many times should you need to?” The answer is probably a heck of a lot less times than they’ve told Desi.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:42 AM

        Like I said, back to tee work. Took way too long to get back to where he should have been all along.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:34 AM

      Steve, I just helped my grandson with keeping his head down, or “on the ball” if you will, with the old bite your shirt collar during BP. It did wonders for him. Harper actually did it in a game during his rookie year.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:40 AM

        Joe, we are on the same page. It’s a great concentration tool with kids especially, and if you tell them Bryce did it they will try it. I also take them out of the cage and on the tee. Tee work is the best to work a swing when your head is off the ball. It’s getting back to basics.

        Desi was killing me with that swing. He hit the ball some by pure luck but that swing yesterday has to be bottled up!!!!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:40 AM

        Joe, we are on the same page. It’s a great concentration tool with kids especially, and if you tell them Bryce did it they will try it. I also take them out of the cage and on the tee. Tee work is the best to work a swing when your head is off the ball. It’s getting back to basics.

        Desi was killing me with that swing. He hit the ball some by pure luck but that swing yesterday has to be bottled up!!!!

      • Doc - Jun 26, 2015 at 12:53 PM

        You can say that again, Ghost!

  10. ehay2k - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    Anyone think Rizzo will move Uggla before the trade (non-waiver) deadline to a team that needs a power bat at a very reasonable rental rate? That is one way to make room for the kids, and Rizzo surely won’t DFA Uggla just to have the Barves pick him up. But Uggla would seem to be the odd man out right now. Perhaps not, but given his contract price and his potential, I can see Rizzo getting something for him, even if it’s just cash (which, I would imagine, would really tick off the Barves.)

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 26, 2015 at 3:06 PM

      which, I imagine, would really tick off the Braves

      That’s funny. Uggla for Cash Considerations, recouping the (approximately) quarter-million they’ve paid him, while the Braves were paying the rest? That would be hilarious. Not only were they paying him to play for us, but the Nats will have gotten him literally for free.

      I’d hate to see him again in the playoffs, though.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2015 at 4:31 PM

        I hope not. I had a good feeling in Spring Training that Uggla was telling the truth that his eyes were the problem and he was right. He could start for many teams but not sure how many playoff teams would give the value that we need because his value is high to this Nats bench.

      • ehay2k - Jun 26, 2015 at 6:22 PM

        Yeah, just to recoup our cash and make the Barves pay would be quite a coup. But to actually make money on the deal? Classic!!

  11. raleighnat - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    As far as Turner goes, it seems to me that Rizzo is setting him up to be next year’s shortstop when Desi leaves…or at least bringing him up in May for that role. This moves Espi to the super utility role. I don’t see Turner getting more than a September call up this year and I don’t see the Nats trading Desi (I don’t think his value is high enough right now as he is a rental.)

    I think an interesting question is whether or not the Nats make Desi a QO. Tough call because you want the draft pick but he may very well take a 1 years deal to try and rebuild value. And every penny matters b/c if I was Rizzo, I would love to keep the $15M or so that Desi might take for a QO so that I have the reserves to make a run at inking Harper long-term sometime soon. I wouldn’t put it past the Lerners to make Harper a Stanton like offer this offseason or the next.

    • jd - Jun 26, 2015 at 11:44 AM

      raleighnut,

      That’s why I think it is not impossible that Rizzo moves Desi before the trade deadline.

      • Theophilus T.S. - Jun 26, 2015 at 12:17 PM

        You can’t ignore the possibility, maybe even likelihood, that Desmond rebuilds much of his market value before the end of the season. If I were a GM under such circumstances I would be dispositively influenced by his history of schizophrenic seasons (first- and second-halves) and I wouldn’t give him a multi-year deal at almost any price. But someone will. Desmond will gamble on that and, if someone offers four years at $44 million — which I have seen as an estimate — he will either take it or bargain himself down to more money on a per annum basis for a shorter number of years. But the Nats’ QO will be glimmering in his rear view mirror.

        Desmond for this and the previous three years has had the good fortune to be on a team with a margin for error, so to speak, that can afford to run for a half-season on seven cylinders instead of eight. (Tight now the Nats are in first place on about 5.5 cylinders.) Most teams are not so well-constructed. The GM who’s thinking of giving Desmond a multi-year deal needs to ask whether his team can win without a positive contribution from Desmond for the first 50-60 games of the season.

    • Hiram Hover - Jun 26, 2015 at 12:10 PM

      If it’s really a Stanton like offer–10+ years, heavily backloaded, and with an opt out–then saving $15M in 2016 wouldn’t really be the determining factor.

      • Theophilus T.S. - Jun 26, 2015 at 12:22 PM

        Agree. Over 10-15 years you’re talking about $1.5MM/year or less. It would be helpful, on the other hand, in giving an extension to Taylor or Fister.

    • zmunchkin - Jun 26, 2015 at 12:19 PM

      Based on his complete history, unless Desi gets worse the Nats make him a QO – which he turns down. Did not look at 2011, but in 2012-2014 not a singlev QO was accepted.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jun 26, 2015 at 4:33 PM

        In the history of the QO, nobody has ever taken it. Desi could be the first one. Who knows.

  12. langleyclub - Jun 26, 2015 at 12:11 PM

    The Nats are all-in for 2015.

    The plan was (and still is) to ride Desi and Jordan then watch them walk after the season. Despite given a ton of rope, Desi played so poorly costing the team several games. After two plus months of bad baseball, the Nats were forced to explore other options. The The Nats are patient, but if Espinosa or Trea Turner gives the Nats a better chance to win this year, they will play Desi won’t.

    Desi gained some ground over the last two games, and assuming his numbers improve over the 2nd half, he will stay at SS all year. However, another month of struggles, the Nats will go to other options, which includes Trea Turner.

    The rationale is not complicated: “what lineup gives the Nats the best chance to win?” If Desi can get out of his funk. He will play through the end of the year. If not, he won’t. Up to him.

    • adcwonk - Jun 26, 2015 at 1:32 PM

      After two plus months of bad baseball, the Nats were forced to explore other options

      I think the more correct narrative is: after Desi turned down the offer last year, the Nats executed other options. To wit: Escobar and Turner.

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