What, 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies asked GM Mike Rizzo on Wednesday morning, did he think of the tinkering Davey Martinez has done with the Washington Nationals’ lineup in the last few games as he’s tried to spark something with the club’s struggling offense?
Did he like Martinez moving a 23-year-old catcher, Keibert Ruiz, into the 2-hole, where 23-year-old Juan Soto had hit for the first two months this season?
With Soto slow to heat up again this season, did the move to third for him make sense? Is Rizzo concerned about Soto’s .241/.381/.443 line (8 doubles, 8 HRs, and 35 walks vs 27 Ks over 44 games & 194 PAs before Wednesday’s game)?
“Well, you know, again, the thing I worry about least is Juan’s production at the plate, so I don’t think about that too often,” Rizzo said, “but I do like the lineup adjustments. I think that’s always good, it brings a little excitement to the clubhouse and to the game, and I think that Ruiz is one of our core group of guys for this next championship run, and he’s earned the right to move up in the lineup.”
And Martinez tinkering trying to spark something?
“These things aren’t put in cement, so Davey has the opportunity to tinker with them even more,” Rizzo said, “but to me, the 2-hole is more at-bats, and I’d like to see Keibert get more at-bats throughout the rest of the season.
“He’s a guy that puts the bat on the ball, he’s the toughest guy, or one of the toughest guys to strike out in all of baseball, so you know there’s going to be contact, and when he gets on base, I think he’s hitting .280-something, .285, something like that, [ed. note - “.283 at the time.”] and I think you’re going to see a guy that’s going to take more walks and get his hits and be in position for those middle three guys to knock him in.”
The Nationals scored just one run in the series finale with the Dodgers yesterday, but it was all the club needed in a 1-0 win.
How will they do tonight?