With the infield of the Washington Nationals somewhat set with Abrams at short, Garcia at second base, and Kieboom maybe at third (if he can make the major league roster) the outfield is another story.
Lane Thomas is the only player assured of regular playing time in the outfield. In Thomas’ first full year with the Nationals, he had a .241 average, a .705 OPS, and a .404 slugging percentage with 498 at-bats and 548 plate appearances. One could make the case that Joey Meneses might be a good right fielder or outfielder; however, his defensive metrics suggest that Meneses is much better suited to a first-base role.
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Late-season waiver claim Alex Call played well enough that the Nationals will likely give him another look in a part-time role. The Nationals might again pair Call and Yadiel Hernandez as a left-field platoon. Thomas’ ability to play center or right field gives Washington some flexibility in determining how they’ll address the other outfield spot. This brings us to this article’s point: what should the Nationals do with that other spot?
We all have seen once-top Nationals prospect Victor Robles struggle at the plate for the third consecutive season, making him a piece to be either traded or just part ways with him or have him in backup duty. Either way, the Nationals need to address the outfield.
So, what should the Nationals do? The Nationals should be looking for veteran help in the outfield. A few interesting free agents on the market, such as Michael Brantley, Tommy Pham, and Corey Dickerson, might be a good fit for the Nationals. o
Is there an inhouse solution to the outfield question?
Maybe we would see Andrew Stevenson make the opening-day roster if the Nationals don’t feel that they want to spend some money in the free-agent market on an outfielder.
The Nationals also have an opportunity to bring up outfield prospect Doven Casey, who finished the 2022 season with the Rochester Red Wings. With 287 at-bats, Casey hit a .216 batting average with an OPS of .623. He had 29 RBI, seven home runs, and 62 hits on the season.
Casey would be an interesting choice for the Nationals to pivot toward without at least having some other options around. However, seeing another prospect start their time in the Majors would be great.
The Nationals should be active on the free agent market, bring in a Veteran and start to asset what the team has in the outfield moving forward. With Soto gone, the Nationals need to firm up the outfield.