Mar 2, 2010, 9:32 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
At 26, Justin Maxwell may be running out of time to stick in the majors.
VIERA, Fla. — Justin Maxwell has been on the Nationals' radar screen for some time now. It's been 2 1/2 years since the Olney, Md., native made his big-league debut, launching a grand slam into the bleachers in Miami in his third career at-bat, and fans and club officials alike have understandably been anticipating his permanent arrival ever since.
The outfielder's arrival, though, didn't come as quickly as some would have liked. Beset by injuries and an inability to produce consistently at the plate, Maxwell has spent only minimal time in the majors since that noteworthy debut in Sept. 2007. And as he enters his third spring in big-league camp, he's still yet to establish himself as a productive enough hitter to stick in Washington.
He's certainly looked at times like a complete player, a fine defensive center fielder and baserunner who can hit for power. But he's yet to do it for prolonged stretches, in part because he hasn't been able to stay healthy.
Thus at age 26, Maxwell suddenly finds himself at a make-or-break moment with his hometown organization. Barring an injury to Josh Willingham, Nyjer Morgan or Elijah Dukes, there isn't an available starting job in the Nats' outfield. But with only 55 games of big-leagueRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
MON: Nats at Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
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