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.”

6 Comments

Adam LaRoche is INJURED!!! Why Riggleman doesn’t take him out and play Mike Morse at first is the reason Riggleman should be fired at the All-Star break.

Because with some of the digs LaRoche has made in order to get an out and/or prevent the ball from getting lost in the right field corner, we need someone with great defensive capability at first. And it’s not like Morse has been tearing it up offensively this year, at least as far as the regular season is concerned. Also LaRoche has a good enough eye to be able to get some walks that Morse might not.

Eckstein is definitely not the problem, just that the team has lost confidence in hitting as a whole…this is a case where one “good” apple will probably turn the Nats Nine around. They all have the physical ability, and whereas at various times of their careers when they have had the confidence of going to bat “knowing” they were going to hit, it has escaped them for a while. Some call it “locked-in” but that confidence can be extended, as hitters prove year in and year out. Become a Yankee, the confidence meter goes up, and those guys tranded there appear to play better than ever. It is just a confidence thing. Once someone in the Nats clubhouse that the others feel they can feed off of starts hitting, and I have no idea who that could be, the balls they are hitting hard to fielders now, will start finding holes, and life will be good!
Don’t mean to ramble so much…Go Nats

Really? I’ve seen no sign of life. Send them down to work on it…and if they turn it around on the farm…bring ‘em back. That’s what I’d do. The Nat’s can’t afford anymore of this. The goal is playoffs. Don’t let the season “slip slide away” to quote Paul Simon.

Sick and tired of hearing announcers say, “that was a good at bat” when somebody flies, grounds or fouls out. An out is an out, out,out, period !!!!!

Bench LaRoche and put Morse on first , at least try “SOMETHING” for God’s sake, don’t just keep going from day to day waiting for something that may never happen.l

I love the NATS and want with all my heart to see them win !!!

I don’t have any answers; they just have to play through it. But what I do know is that we absolutely CANNOT “send them down.” In order to send any of LaRoche, Zimm, Hairston, Cora, Morse, Ankiel, Werth, Nix, Stairs, or Pudge to the minors, the team would have designate that player for assignment AND HAVE HIM CLEAR WAIVERS. I may not have that 100% as who still has options (not sure about Espinosa and Desmond), but the point is that if they tried to send down one of the veteran players, they would be more likely to lose him to another team. Maybe if the player agreed they could cook up an injury and arrange a “rehab” assignment (as is actually the case with Ankiel now and will be with Zimm), but the CBA prevents demoting players with the minimum seniority.

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