The Nationals have already made one move this season to improve the bench. The team acquired outfielder Scott Hairston from the Chicago Cubs earlier in July, but with Chad Tracy and Roger Bernadina hitting .179 and .186 respectively, bench depth is something that still needs attention.
Last season, the Nationals were one of the best pinch-hitting teams in baseball. Steve Lombardozzi, who is still doing well, Tracy, Bernadina and Tyler Moore were feared hitters coming off the bench. They all proved to be just as productive as the everyday starters and really fueled the Nationals’ postseason push.
This year, pinch-hitting has become more of a formality for subbing out pitchers. The Nationals have had little to no luck with their pinch-hitters. If they want to keep their postseason dreams alive, they will have to upgrade their bench depth or figure out a way to make what they’ve got work.
The Nationals could be making a deal prior to the deadline, something that some don’t believe will happen. Rizzo told reporters that, “We’ve got a lot of trade discussions. We’ve received calls, we’ve made calls.” He also noted that he wouldn’t comment much more than that.
I wouldn’t expect the Nationals to make any sort of marquee moves, even though that may prove helpful. Rizzo has maintained his confidence in the current club that he has put together.