After 98 games this season, the Washington Nationals have a combined .284/.358/.485 line against left-handed pitchers, good for 2nd/1st/2nd amongst National League teams, and a less impressive .246/.319/.416 line against righties, good for 9th/9th/11th among the NL’s 15 teams. So, Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo was asked in an MLB Network Radio interview last week, is a left-handed bat who can help improve the numbers against right-handers on the list of their needs as the trade deadline approaches at the end of the month?
“It’s something that we look at,” Rizzo said, but, “we like our left-handed depth on the roster.
“When you have [Juan] Soto and [Adam] Eaton in your everyday starting lineup and Matt Adams and Gerardo Parra on the bench, I think that really bodes well for us as far as left-handed hitters on the roster, so I think that we’re fairly covered there, you can’t say what we’re looking for, because something may pop up that makes sense for us that we’re not really thinking about right now, but our priority is going to be pitching, probably bullpen arms that can give us some veteran leadership and possibly shorten the game up for our starting rotation.”
Soto has a .288/.407/.507 line against right-handers this season (and a .302.389.557 line vs left-handers). Eaton has a .283/.363/.397 vs right-handers (and a .286/.363/.374 line vs left-handed pitchers).
Adams, like Soto and Eaton, has reverse splits thus far in 2019, with a .226/.267/.497 vs righties, and a .257/.278/.571 left-handed pitchers, as does Parra (.225/.277./348 vs right-handers and a .263.341.447 line vs lefties).
And the Nationals’ right-handed hitters (Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Ryan Zimmerman, Brian Dozier, Howie Kendrick, Victor Robles, Kurt Suzuki, and Yan Gomes)?
They’ve put up a combined .239/.307/.413 line against right-handed pitchers, good for 10th/7th/4th across the line among NL teams.
Do you expect the Nationals to add any position players (left-handed bats or otherwise) before the Trade Deadline, or like Rizzo said, will they focus on pitching, and the pen in particular?
The Nationals are facing two righties and a left-hander in the first three games with the Rockies this week. Colorado’s starter for the series finale hasn’t been announced.