Nor is it about their hitting. Right now the team is hanging its hat on Yunel Escobar and Clint Robinson. That sound like something you'd hear about an expansion team, not a World Series contender. It's a slow start cross the board. One of the issues with a superstar less offense (and that's what the Nats are - though potential lies with Bryce and Rendon) is that while there are no holes to the offense, there is no one that's going to carry you either. Instead of one guy, prone to be hot anyway, being hot and driving the team forward, a certain number (at least 5, maybe 6 or even 7) have to be "not slumping" to keep the engine humming. With the injuries pulling three regulars out that basically means everyone has to be on, or one of the replacements has to hit. The Nats are nowhere near that.
The hope though, is that when these guys get back and get acclimated things will be better. That's a fair hope. Werth is already back. Span is on the fast track. Rendon is looking like he won't be missing months.
Then why might the Nats be stupid? Because of this
Williams said Rendon is taking ground balls at both second and third base in Viera. For now, at least publicly, the Nationals aren’t prepared to say where Rendon will play once he returns...You know what. I've already decided. The Nats ARE stupid, because even if Rendon ends up at 3rd and Escobar at 2nd like they should, they are considering doing this. They admit that 2nd base involves more twists and turns and pressure on the knee and yet they are making Rendon take grounders at 2nd. Rendon who just hurt his knee and has been out becuase that knee seems slow to heal. They are doing this because Yunel Escobar seems comfortable at third and they don't want to force him to change positions mid season. Yunel Escobar. The man who over the last three seasons has hit .256 / .318 / .350 with 25 homers total. The man who they brought in hoping his slick-fielding at SS would come back. They want him to play third and they want to move Rendon back to 2nd. Let's say this again.
The are at least entertaining the thought of moving Anthony Rendon, their 24 year old who finished 5th in the MVP voting, back to second, increasing his chance of injury so Yunel Escobar, their 32 year old "stopgap to Trea Turner" who was possibly the worst regular shortstop in the majors last year, can play third.
AAAAAAAA! It doesn't make sense.
It so much doesn't make sense I'm convincing myself this isn't about Escobar. It's about dealing Desmond now, shifting Yuney to SS and getting a 3rd baseman. That's the only way it makes sense right? Of course who would trade a young good 3rd baseman with control for a SS with one year left? No one right? Doesn't make sense. Maybe they do go after Beltre then and Yuney can be the Beltre stop gap for Texas while their young guys get a little more playing time. Yes, that's it. They are about to trade Cole and Escobar over the Texas for Beltre. You heard it here first!
The Nats AREN'T stupid. They are sneaky! Right Rizzo? Right?