Lane Thomas finished the month of May with a .195/.256/.325 line in 43 games and 137 plate appearances over the first eight weeks of the 2022 season, but the 26-year-old was 22 for 71 in 18 games and 78 PAs going into Wednesday night’s matchup in Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and his manager moved him to sixth in the batting order after he’d hit at the top most of the last four weeks, or hit in the “second leadoff spot” aka the ninth spot in the previous two games.
Martinez said he made his decisions on where to plug the hot-hitting outfielder in only after looking at the matchups and deciding where he thought he’d fit best.
“Looking at the matchups, and Lane is good fastball hitter,” the manager said before the Nationals went up against Orioles’ starter Tyler Wells in the second of two with the O’s. “This guy has got a good fastball, so I tried to bump him up a little bit today. We’re looking to try to score some runs, you know.
“Yesterday we had an opportunity to score a bunch more, we didn’t do it, but I’m trying to get these guys up there, match them up the best way I can, and see if we can score some runs, and try to knock the starting pitcher out and go from there.”
Talking with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies on Wednesday, GM Mike Rizzo said the outfielder acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline last July 30th looks like he’ll be part of the core of the next championship-caliber club in the nation’s capital.
“I think he’s hitting .237, but he’s come from the low .100s early in the season. We always thought he was a tooled-up player, he could do a lot of things. I think stuck behind some of those great St. Louis Cardinals’ teams that he was kind of forgotten over there, and our scouts did a good job of identifying Lane as a guy that kind of fits our profile.
“He’s always been able to wear out left-handed pitching, so we know he can do that, he’s making good adjustments against right-handed pitchers, he does have pop, he’s got speed, he’s got defensive ability in both center field and left field, and he’s a well-rounded, versatile player for us that’s sound fundamentally and is definitely part of the core group of guys that will move forward and be our next championship-caliber club.”
Where does Martinez have Thomas hitting tonight? Let’s see… huh, apparently he’s not in the lineup. That’s what we get for writing the lineup post 48 hours in advance.
Thanks, Davey. Thought we were cool...
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE 1ST OF 3 WITH THE RANGERS: