When it came down the last few roster decisions before the start of the NLDS, the Washington Nationals decided to leave Ben Revere off the 25-Man roster.
Revere, 28, struggled offensively throughout his first season in the nation’s capital, after injuring himself on the first day of the regular season.
He finished the season with a .217/.260/.300 line over in 103 games and 375 plate appearances, over which he was worth -1.2 fWAR, down from a .306/.342/.377 line between Toronto and Philadelphia in 2015, and 2.2 and 1.9 fWAR campaigns in the previous two seasons (2015-16).
Both Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker and Washington’s GM Mike Rizzo talked about the decision to go with Michael Taylor over Revere after the decision on the postseason roster was announced.
“You know, we just, we needed some balance,” Baker said.
“You know, we had predominately left-handed hitting bench and we just thought that for this series, that the things that Michael can do and bring to the table, was better for this roster.”
“[Taylor is] our best defensive outfielder,” Rizzo said, as quoted by Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes.
“He throws well, he has great range, he plays all three defensive positions. He can be a defensive replacement or a pinch runner for us, and he bats right-handed, which was probably the decision-making point with him and Revere.”
Revere never seemed to recover from the 29 games he missed at the start of the season.
Baker said he understood the outfielder’s frustration when Revere was still struggling to get right at the plate in mid-August.
“When you start the season hurt, you're playing catch-up the whole time,” Baker explained.
“We would have hoped that he would have caught up by now, but for guys that I've seen that start the season like -- heck I've only had one other guy get hurt in his first at bat and that was -- in Cincinnati ... he got hurt the very, very first at bat and it makes for a long year and like I said you're playing catch-up.”
“We see the season [winding] down and you're still in the low .200s and you're not used to that,” Baker said.
“He'll tell you, 'I'm a .300 hitter,' but you've got to believe and seriously, seriously deep down inside believe that.”
Will the Nationals count on Revere playing to the back of his baseball card in 2017?
After he was acquired by the Nats in the trade that sent Drew Storen and cash to the Blue Jays last January, Revere and the Nationals avoided arbitration, agreeing on a 1-year/$6.25M deal. He’s under team control for 2017, with a projected salary of $6.3M according to MLBTradeRumors.com’s projections.
Do the Nationals bring Revere back to start in center as they intended last season?
Will they acquire an outfielder to play between Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper and use Revere as a fourth outfielder?
Do they stick with Trea Turner in center like they did late this season, or shift Turner back to short and use Revere/Taylor or a new outfielder in center?