LaRoche, Nix support Nats’ Eckstein
Entering Friday’s action against the Orioles, the Nationals have a .223 batting average, the worst in the Major Leagues.
After Washington’s 1-0 loss to the Mets on Thursday afternoon, general manager Mike Rizzo ordered hitting coach Rick Eckstein not to talk to the media to help explain what’s going wrong with the offense. Rizzo declined to say why he made directive.
But first baseman Adam LaRoche and outfielder Laynce Nix said that Eckstein is not to blame for the season-long slump.
“It’s not easy for him at all. It might be harder on him than it is an individual hitter,” said LaRoche, who is hitting .172 for the season. “The entire team feels responsible. He has done everything he could possibility do to get guys on track. He spends more time watching video. He goes in the batter’s box to just to mimic player’s swings just to get a feeling in the batter’s box.”
Nix, who is the only position player who is hitting over .300 for the Nationals, said Eckstein is a positive person when he teaches the art of hitting.
“We are having a hard time putting hits together, getting guys on base or doing a lot of things right,” Nix said. “It’s pretty simple: We have to make our own breaks and not depend on luck. We feel for Eck and he feels a lot of heat, but we believe in him and he believes in us. Everybody is working hard. We will be out of this [slump] soon.”