Nats’ Johnson concerned about offense

Although the Nationals won their 44 game of the season Tuesday night, manager Davey Johnson is concerned about the offense.

It’s more than just the .233 batting average that bothers Johnson. The team is below average when it comes to runners in scoring position. During Tuesday’s game against the Cubs, for example, Washington went 2-for-11.

However, Johnson remains hopeful that the team will break out of its slump.

“It’s almost like there is a little pressure going through [the players] and they can’t quite get it off them,” Johnson said. “I’m a positive manager. Good things are coming. We are winning games when we are not running on all cylinders. It makes it interesting.”

One of the players who is not running on all cylinders at the plate is right fielder Jayson Werth, who went 0-for4 with two strikeouts and has seen his batting average go down to .221. Johnson acknowledged after the game that Werth has hit rock bottom at the plate.

“I think he has bottomed out,” Johnson said about Werth. “I thought he was in a good frame of mind during the last two to three days. I think he is comfortable. I think earlier in the year, he played mentor a little more than he needed to for some of the young guys. But he is a heck of a ballplayer and I know he is going to start doing things that he is capable of doing.”

5 Comments

Jayson Werth was 0-7. The rest of them was 2-4. So the rest of the team isn’t doing horrible (all the time). I’m not putting all the blame on Werth, but he certainly isn’t pulling his weight… over his heavy pockets.

NATS Offense has been a concern since the NATS lost Adam Dunn, and Josh Willingham during the offseason, they were replace with Jayson werth and Adam Laroche who is out for the year, plus the NATS gave up to soon on Nyjer Morgan.
What I find distribing is how can you not have Flores on the Major League Roster platooning with Ramos and not calling up Lombardozzi who can get plenty of bats spelling Desmond, Espinosa and Zimmerman. NATS need to focus on thier future players in the minor leagues, Maya should be traded for a BAT BOY along with Wang..

two things; 1) thigns will click in time. The offense will come together slowly. one of the biggest issues wiht this team is getting the offense to mesh with the pitching and Defense. With the excpetion of a few hiccups, they’re doing suprising well for having the offensive woes. We can complain all we want about the offense and why the team hasn’t called up Lombardozzi, Flores or PEacock (or any other top prospect not named Bryce Harper for that matter), but we have to realize we’re not the ones deciding the course of the team. I believe Werth will start hitting after the break. This happens all the time that players have a down first half and rebound well. Laroche will be back at 1st base for us next year. We’ll probably platoon Morse with him as well have Morse as an outfield option. I’d love to see Nix get resigned and have him platoon in left with Bernadina until Harper gets called up (July of next season at the earliest). Once Harper’s up, i can see the Nats flipping Nix for prospects or moving Bernadina to center and platooning Harper with Nix. I’ll be stunned if the Nats resign Ankiel after this season.

2) @Smokey61: I think they haven’t called up Flores for two reasons: 1) the might flip him at the trade deadline or 2) they’re being careful with him as he was out for a long time. Frankly, i think we’re set at catcher for the season with Pudge and Ramos. Though, i do see the Nationals flipping Pudge to someone for prospects by the trade deadline. As far as Lombardozzi goes, I believe they’re waiting to call him up until they rule out trading for a Leadoff hitter/Center fielder (Ankiel’s been hurt to often, and as much as i like Bernadina, he’s better in left). If they dont get a younger bat for the leadoff position by the trade deadline, look for Lombardozzi to be called up sometime in August. Then, they’ll probably flip Ankiel for low-level prospects. As far as Maya goes, the organization needs to either release him or convert him into a reliever. He’s not starter material. Wang, they’re being a bit too patient with, but he has the potential to be a very solid 3 or 4 guy in our rotation once he’s fully back. He was a low risk high reward signing, so give it a little more time to pan out. You also bring up Nyjer Morgan. While i do feel we gave up on him too soon, the attitude he had last season kept him from being resigned with the team. Yes he’s doing well for the Brewers, about as well as he did for us before his hand injury in the 2009 season, but his attitude did not mesh with the team (remember all the times last season we heard about him exploding and getting a temper?). Yes, we need fire-crackers like this on the team, but honestly, I’m more confident in Bernadina/Ankiel in center than i was with Nyjer.

Fire Ekstein and hire Frank Robinson. But there I go being negative again and I am sure that someone will write in calling me classless or some other remark. But the fact is that other teams have had hitting woes and have somehow markedly improved as the season progressed. I do not think that blaming Werth is the way to go. There are a lot of players on this team hitting way below their career batting averages like Werth which is why the Nats Team batting average is the lowest in the majors. It is the job of the hitting instructor to correct that problem. Ekstein has not. It is a simple fact born out by the statistics. Bring in Frank Robinson. His philosophy is identical to Davey Johnson’s. Also none of the teams that Robinson managed or coached ever had a team batting average as low as the Nats. “You can look it up”.

Give Werth time and you will see good things. This is a hard working, above average player who is driven to succeed. When he’s on, he’s amazing.

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