Chad Tracy had a .320/.400/.520 line with three doubles and one home run as a pinch hitter when the Washington Nationals signed the 32-year-old bench bat to an extension to bring him back to D.C. for the 2013 season this past August. A year after he'd been playing for the Hiroshima Carp in Japan, the former Arizona D-Backs, Chicago Cubs and Miami (Florida) Marlins' infielder who was drafted by Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo when Rizzo was Scouting Director for the Diamondbacks, was an important part of Davey Johnson's bench on the NL East's first place Nats. Tracy finished the year with a .269/.343/.441 line, seven doubles and three home runs in 73 games and 102 plate appearances.
As a pinch hitter, Tracy had a .261/.340/.391 line with three doubles and a home run, helping the Nationals to a league-best .288 PH/BA (according to ESPN). The eight-year MLB veteran missed significant time this summer when he was out of the Nats' lineup from May 26th-July 31st after suffering a groin injury which required surgery while running out an RBI double against the Atlanta Braves, but Tracy still managed to lead the majors in pinch hit RBIs (9) while finishing with the third-highest total pinch hits behind Reed Johnson (18) and four other players with 13.
The Nationals announced via Twitter on Thursday that Tracy underwent surgery on his left knee:
Chad Tracy today had arthroscopic surgery performed on his left knee by Dr. Wiemi Douoguih at the Medstar Washington Hospital Center in DC.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) October 25, 2012
"'We had two parties that wanted to be together,'" Mike Rizzo told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore when Tracy's extension for 2013 was announced, "'He’s been a great teammate. He’s been great off the bench. We thought it was a good time to lock him up so he didn’t get out to free agency and test the waters.'"
Tracy signed a minor league contract last Winter that paid him $750,000 if he played in the majors. According to reports this past August, the extension he agreed on for 2013 will pay the bench bat $1M with performance bonuses included in the deal. Tracy is expected to be healthy for Spring Training according to reports on Thursday.