Ladson noted something that highlights everything that the Nats have been doing wrong in the OF for 5 years now.
Once Ankiel comes back, the Nationals have to make a decision on who plays every day in left and center field. Roger Bernadina will continue to play every day. It's just a matter of where he plays. Bernadina is the currently the club's only legitimate leadoff hitter...
Laynce Nix has made it difficult for the club because he is having a solid season, hitting .310 with five home runs and 16 RBIs. He entered the season as a pinch-hitting specialist, but found himself playing often after Mike Morse slumped.
There is a possibility that Nix and Morse could platoon in left field. Ankiel may also platoon with Morse in left field. A decision will not be made until Ankiel is activated from the disabled list.
Just so you understand all the things that are wrong here :
- They might sit their best Non Zimmerman offensive player this year (though yes - Werth should be considered better) because at the beginning of the year they saw him as a pinch hitter (let's ignore the facts for now that last year he hit lefties ok in limited at bats and that he's never been a great pinch hitter or anything)
- Mike Morse, who as of two games ago was still regulated to the bench, is the guy they "have to" work in somehow. Rather than Nix (the best hitter right now) or Ankiel (arguably the best fielder of the 3... arguably - it certainly isn't Morse let's say that)
- Roger Bernadina, the 27 year old batting a forgettable .270 / .352 / .381 in AAA who was called up only because Ankiel got injured, is now the untouchable player in this scenario because he's most like a prototypical leadoff hitter and he started this 2 week stretch with a few good games.
I don't care what they choose among these 4 guys. Any permutation of starters, platooners and bench players is fine because none of these guys is a young stud needing to break in. But do it for a reason. Sorry. Do it for a GOOD reason. Something beyond "He's a righty!" or "He sure looks speedy!" Have a plan and stick to it for a few months. Stop the haphazard "this guy looks good right now" evaluation process that leads to the same never-wases and new has-beens being mixed in each time with the management saying "we really like what this guy can do". Actively try to find someone that can play everyday for a long period of time by letting someone play everyday for a long period of time.
(At this point I would say keep playing Nix and Bernadina, almost everyday, until the All-Star break. after that near 2-month tryout and a natural stopping point re-evaluate. )