Going into last night’s game, Luis García had a .360/.372/.507 line, five doubles, two home runs, 10 RBIs, a walk, and nine runs scored in 19 games since he was called up on June 1st, and the 22-year-old shortstop had, “... hit safely in 15 of the 19 games and ... reached safely in 16 of the 19,” as the Nationals highlighted in their pregame notes for the series opener with the Baltimore Orioles.
“His 27 hits during the month of June rank second in the NL while his .360 average ranks sixth,” Washington’s PR department noted.
“Garcia has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, going 18-for-45 (.400) with three doubles, one homer, four RBI, one hit by pitch and six runs scored...He has six multi-hit games during this stretch.”
“He’s swinging the bat well,” manager Davey Martinez said after penciling García in as his No. 5 hitter for the first of two with the O’s in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
“And we’re monitoring his swings and his approach, and I’m looking for someone to, one, to drive in some runs, and two, to actually get on base with some of those other guys as well.
“And he’s done that so far, so we’ll see how he does.”
Martinez was clear it wasn’t a permanent thing, but an opportunity to mix things up a bit and hopefully spark something in the bottom half of the lineup.
“It doesn’t mean that he’s gonna stay there,” he said. “I might end up moving him back, but for today with the way this matches up, I kind of like him in that five hole.”
García hit 6th through 9th in his first 19 games this season, but Martinez explained he hoped the bump to No. 5 could help the hitters behind him as well.
“Yeah, I want [Yadiel Hernández] and the other guys, too, you know, [Maikel] Franco, he drives in some big runs for us as well. So maybe we get them up there.
“And like I said, [García] can drive in runs because he moves the baseball and he can get on base for those other two guys.”
García went 0 for 4, the fifth time he’s been held hitless in 20 games since he came up.
Where will the shortstop hit tonight? Let’s see…
HERE’S THE NATIONALS LINEUP FOR THE 2ND OF 2 WITH THE ORIOLES:
Something in the orange tells me we're not done#NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/1hhMmlb7IJ— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 22, 2022