Dec 1, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT
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Laynce Nix was one of several Nationals who struggled as pinch-hitters this year.
For all the attention we've given so far this offseason to the Nationals' desire to acquire a veteran starting pitcher and a starting center fielder, we should be careful not to overlook another roster dynamic desperately in need of a major upgrade: The bench.
It may not seem as important as a deep rotation or a bolstered lineup, but there's no portion of the Nationals' roster that needs more improvement than its bench. Don't believe that? Have you looked at the numbers from this season?
Nationals pinch-hitters batted a collective .186 (38-for-204). And that's not even the most pathetic stat associated with that role. Those same pinch-hitters combined to drive in 14 runs (fewest in the NL) while producing a whopping five extra-base hits for the season (leading to a .240 slugging percentage).
Having trouble coming to grips with those anemic numbers? Wait, it gets even worse.
Let's look only at the five batters who were most-often called upon by Jim Riggleman and Davey Johnson in pinch-hitting situations: MattRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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