Sunday, November 27, 2022

Luis García back at shortstop at Nationals’ spring training

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Still, via all of that, García believed he match greatest at his pure place. His 11 errors in 28 video games at shortstop with the Class AAA Rochester Red Wings in 2021 might recommend in any other case. So may his inconsistent protection at second within the professionals. But the Nationals have a gaping gap to fill at shortstop after buying and selling Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers. And in what’s anticipated to be a rebuilding 12 months, it is smart to provide García, 21, a good shot there.

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“The biggest thing I feel like I have to work on is to make sure I stay low on my legs when I make my throws,” García stated via a workforce interpreter Tuesday. “And stay more focused pitch-by-pitch, make sure I’m locked in a little bit better.”

Focus, he defined, was the principle causes for his defensive points final season.

“I feel like my mind was wandering a lot and that led to some of those errors,” García stated. “For some reason, I was still thinking a lot about my [oblique] injury. That was hanging over my head a little bit. I felt like a lot of times pitches would catch me off guard because I was thinking about something else in that moment. That’s obviously something I need to fix.”

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García is only one a part of the Nationals’ crowded infield image. Manager Dave Martinez instructed reporters Wednesday that Kieboom and Maikel Franco will compete for the on a regular basis job at third base. Josh Bell, the returning first baseman, nonetheless wants a right-handed backup, which could possibly be even be Franco if he makes the Opening Day roster. César Hernández, signed to a one-year, $4 million deal in November, is anticipated to play typically at second, particularly since Martinez desires him to be the workforce’s common leadoff hitter. Then veterans Alcides Escobar and Ehire Adrianza can fill in any cracks.

Escobar, 35 and signed to a one-year, $1 million deal, is insurance coverage if García doesn’t click on at shortstop. Adrianza, 32 and signed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract, has at least 20 appearances at shortstop (177), third base (111), second (85), first (35), left subject (29) and proper (20). As a switch-hitter, and coming off a reasonably productive 12 months with the Atlanta Braves, Martinez views Adrianza as a do-everything utility man. García, then, is surrounded by skilled infielders, providing him wanted steerage and the Nationals a couple of security nets.

“Look, this kid took everything to heart,” Martinez stated of what the Nationals instructed García to work on this winter. “He came this year and he’s thin. I mean, he’s got great shape, he looks a little bit quicker. So you know, today he took groundballs and he’s getting in front of everything, his feet were working fine. We’re going to keep an eye on him.

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“The throwing thing, sometimes guys do get in some habits. And for me it’s more about being lazy cause they’re not moving their feet and it’s been addressed with him and he understands that he has to use his lower half to throw the ball.”

At 19, García was subsequent to Kieboom as one of many group’s prime prospects. At 20, García debuted and have become the primary participant born within the 2000s to homer within the main leagues. At 22, given common begins from final July on, he flashed his energy however completed with a .242 batting common, .275 on-base proportion and .411 slugging proportion in 247 plate appearances, beneath excessive expectations.

In May, he’ll flip 22, nonetheless youthful than tons of minor leaguers. Doing so at shortstop for the Nationals can be a giant deal.

“I plan to take that next step this year,” García stated. “I feel much more focused on getting there.”

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