Chad Tracy continues to struggle

By Tom Schad | Associate Reporter

As the July 31 trade deadline rapidly approaches, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson will have the opportunity to make a few changes to the roster. Acquiring a left-handed hitter and letting go of pinch-hitter Chad Tracy could very well be one of them.

The nine-year Major League veteran might be the most disappointing player on a disappointing Nationals bench. After an 0-for-4 performance in a rare start on Friday night, he is hitting a career-worst .149 (13-for-87), which is nearly 90 points below his previous career-low (.237 in 2009).

“I’ve had some big pinch-hits, but as far as playing when I’m getting the start, I haven’t done enough with it,” he said. “It is very frustrating.”

Tracy was brought to Washington for a few specific reasons. He backs up first baseman Adam LaRoche and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He’s a savvy veteran in the clubhouse. And he’s a left-handed bat off the bench.

Those roles, however, can be filled in other ways. The Nationals could bring up a much younger power hitter from Triple-A Syracuse, like Tyler Moore or Chris Marrero. They could give versatile infielder and switch-hitter Danny Espinosa another shot. Or they could look outside the organization for another veteran left-handed bat.

The simple fact is that Tracy is a career .273 hitter who hasn’t hit .273 since 2006. In two years with the Nationals, he is hitting .211 with a .270 OBP. He is 33 years old and likely will not factor into the team’s long-term plans. And with only 13 hits this season (three home runs) and no signs of a turnaround, Tracy knows that the Nationals might decide to go in a different direction.

“Any time you don’t get at-bats strung together it’s tough, you start in the hole,” Tracy said. “But that’s why I’m here. I’m a veteran guy, I’ve been through it before so I should be able to make the adjustment. And I just haven’t done it.”

1 Comment

The Squanderers (of 2013)
by David Rubenstein

(sing along at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzdigxCIuOE)

We’re the type of guys who will never win it all,
We catch some and we miss some – well we won’t make every play.
If someone steals a base, then you know the next is caught.
We score some or we leave some, yet it always seems the same.

They call us the squanderers, yeah the squanderers,
We mess around around around around.

Well, Atlanta’s out in front, with the Phillies right behind,
Ever optimistic, our fans still hope tonight.
We don’t need many runs; our pitchers are the best,
They keep us in the game; our bats should do the rest.

But we’re the squanderers, yeah the squanderers.
We mess around around around around.
We careen from game to game,
Can go two days without a run.
And we’re sloppy with men on base,
We’ve several all-star players, but we’re going nowhere fast.

We’re the type of guys who only play around.
We’re never in first place; it doesn’t get us down.
And if we find ourselves beating some good team,
We’ll drop a ball or two ‘til we give the game away.

We’re the squanderers, yeah the squanderers.
We mess around around around around.

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