With the second week of the MLB year coming to a close, the Washington Nationals have so far held their own. By winning eight of their first thirteen games, they’ve been able to grab first place in the NL East. However, they’ve had their fair share of issues, most notably in their bullpen. With first-year closer Blake Treinen and the inexperienced Koda Glover struggling early on, the Nationals bullpen has been lackluster, to say the least. Their lineup, however, has made up for their bullpen woes. Led by the lethal duo of Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy, the Nationals have been able to produce runs early on. Veteran production though has also been key to the success of the Nationals Lineup.
Veteran Production Has Been Key To The Nationals Lineup
So far, the Nationals lineup has succeeded expectations. A big part of that is thanks to both Harper and Murphy hitting at All-Star levels. Harper is currently hitting .354, and leads the Nationals with four home runs and 13 RBI. Murphy is hitting a team-high .368 and has driven in 10 runs. The one-two punch of Harper and Murphy has been great two weeks into the regular season.
While Harper and Murphy have been superb, it’s the production from the other veterans that has propelled the Nationals lineup.
In the off-season, the Nationals inked Wieters, formerly of the Baltimore Orioles to a two-year, $21 million deal. Many thought Weiters’ impact on the Nationals would be mostly felt on the defensive end. While he has been a force behind the backstop, Wieters has done most of his damage at the plate.
Twelve games in, Weiters is hitting .316 in 38 at-bats. His production only makes the Nationals lineup even deeper. Yet, Wieters though hasn’t been the only veteran bat contributing to the Nationals lineup.
In addition to Wieters, the Nationals also have two other veteran bats contributing to their lineup in the early stages of the 2017 season, one being Zimmerman, a veteran infielder.
After a rough 2016 campaign in which he hit just .218, Zimmerman has bounced back nicely in 2017. In 45 at-bats, he’s hitting .356, with three home runs and seven RBI, serving as an impact bat in the five spot for the Nationals.
In addition to Zimmerman, Werth, another longtime National, has hit well at the plate. After a mediocre 2016 season in which he hit just .244, Werth has seen more success in the batter’s box thus far in the 2017 season.
In 44 at-bats, Werth is hitting just .273, but had three home runs and seven RBI. Werth has been a solid and reliable force in the middle of the order for the Nationals.
Nationals Success in Their Order is Unlike Years Past
With the year still just two weeks young, it’s anyone’s guess just how much longer the Nationals lineup can continue to hit at this high level. What’s intriguing about their success so far is that no single player is carrying a heavy load. Unlike years past, in which either Harper or Murphy has been a one-man wrecking crew, the Nationals are hitting collectively well as a unit, making for a deep and balanced lineup. If they can continue to hit at a high level, or at least keep pace with their hot start, the Nationals lineup will do wonders for their World Series aspirations.