Riggleman, Nationals support Austin Kearns
Nationals outfielder Austin Kearns hasn’t received much playing time lately. In fact, he has only 17 plate appearances in his last 22 games. It doesn’t help that he is 12-for-79 [.152] in his last 37 games.
Part of the problem is that Kearns hasn’t been able to make the proper adjustments with his hands. He is usually vulnerable to inside pitches.
Although he hasn’t played much, Kearns has earned the respect of the organization. He has never complained about lack of playing time, according to interim manager Jim Riggleman.
“This is one of the finest people you ever want to meet. What a class individual,” Riggleman said. “A lot of people with his stature in the game would display an attitude and a body language that would be very hard to be around. I appreciate the way he is handling the situation.”
Kearns has been on the trade block for the most of the season, but there doesn’t appear to be any takers. Kearns has an option for $10 million for 2009, but that is not expected to be picked up by the Nationals.