Martinez plans to stick with current lineup

September 17th, 2021

WASHINGTON -- Dave Martinez has tweaked his lineup quite a few times this season, but it has come together over the past few weeks. So much so, that the skipper doesn’t plan on adjusting it for the remainder of the season.

Martinez likes the idea of Lane Thomas leading off, followed by Alcides Escobar getting on base for Juan Soto. Of course, when the All-Star slugger came up in pregame conversation, he was quick to send a little praise.

“Juan Soto, he is continuing to do what he does,” said Martinez. “Not only is he playing to help us win games, but statistically, he's playing to win another batting title. I would love for him to win that as well.

"So I want to leave things status quo. He's been doing well. Josh Bell has been doing well hitting behind him, we're scoring tons of runs this way. So, I don't want to mess with that.”

The Nationals have had no problem scoring runs over the past month. Since Aug. 15, Washington's offense ranks second in the National League in runs per game (5.03) and third in runs scored (146).

The only change the Nats' skipper has been mulling over is whether to move Luis García up in the lineup. For Friday’s season finale against the Rockies, the rookie is batting eighth, where he has hit for the majority of the season.

“We're trying to get him to swing at strikes and to take his walks,” said Martinez. “He really hasn't been able to do that. When they do throw balls in a strike zone, he's been hitting pretty hard. But, we've got to get him in the strike zone. So, I don't want to move him up and he starts chasing balls all over the place. That's not what we're trying to do here.”

Washington is leading the National League in team batting average (.258), meaning that this lineup is starting to take shape. But, Martinez knows that these statistics only look good on paper. What he needs from his team now is wins.