Washington Nationals’ Josh Bell & Nelson Cruz and their impact in D.C.


Even after going 0 for 8 within the first two of three with the Pittsburgh Pirates in D.C., Nelson Cruz had a .287/.360/.455 line in Might/June, after a .155/.253/.226 begin to his 1-year/$15M free agent cope with the Washington Nationals within the month of April.

Cruz fouled a ball off his left shin within the sequence opener with the Bucs, and it took a minute to shake it off, however he did stay within the recreation on Monday night time, and the Nats’ skipper stated on Tuesday night time his 41-year-old DH was good to go once more.

“He’s doing effectively. I talked to him at the moment, he stated he felt good, he needed to play, so he’s in there, and he’s going to DH for us,” the fifth-year supervisor advised reporters.

Cruz performed in 71 of the Nationals’ first 77 video games, with a .244/.325/.382 line, 12 doubles and eight residence runs on the yr.

He’s about to show 42 on July 1st, however the 18-year veteran’s skipper stated he’s exhibiting no indicators of slowing down.

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“I’d have by no means identified,” Martinez stated of Cruz’s impending forty second birthday.

“Figuring out him, and figuring out what he does to arrange himself day by day, the sky is the restrict actually. I imply, I take a look at him and truthfully, when you take a look at him and also you say he’s that previous, as a result of I received’t repeat it, I’d by no means have thought it. He retains himself in nice form, he works arduous day by day, he by no means talks about ever giving up the sport, and good for him, so I can see him taking part in for an additional couple years if he desires to, so we’ll see, however he retains himself in nice form, he actually does. And he’s been superior. He’s an expert by way of and thru, even in his early struggles this yr right here, he was all the time speaking with the younger gamers and the veteran guys, and holding all people upbeat, and he was that voice within the clubhouse, so he’s been nice.”

Josh Bell has been nice too. Going into Wednesday’s recreation, Bell, 29, had performed in 76 of 77 this season, and after going 2 for 4 with a double in Tuesday’s win, he had a .311/.392/.495 line, 13 doubles, and 11 HRs. He’s additionally been a quiet chief in accordance with his supervisor.

“He’s a type of quiet guys who leads by instance,” Martinez stated. “He’s a type of guys that talk up when he must, however he’s superior. For me, I imply, you watch this man play, he performs the precise method day by day. I by no means need to lookup and watch him. He runs arduous to first base on a regular basis, he’s all the time seeking to take an additional base for as huge as he’s. I all the time inform him, ‘You play the sport like somewhat man, you’re like all the time working round and play with lots of power,’ which is superior, so he’s been a blessing, he actually has. For me, for the teaching employees, he’s all the time there for his teammates. he loves the sport, he actually does, and I’m lucky to have him.”

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Washington Nationals

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Martinez was requested about Bell rising right into a management position throughout his time in D.C., however he stated the switch-hitting first baseman came to visit from Pittsburgh within the December 2020 commerce the participant he’s now.

“Truthfully, he’s been that very same man. We knew that after we acquired him. We talked loads to the coaches. Now we have certainly one of his coaches with us now, Dave Jauss, and he talked so extremely of him after we acquired him, and I requested him the identical query in Spring Coaching: ‘Because you’ve been right here, I do know him longer than I’ve…’ however he stated the child hasn’t modified a bit, he’s nonetheless the identical man.’”

Will both Cruz or Bell be round after this yr’s August 2nd commerce deadline passes? It doesn’t appear seemingly. Each are on expiring contracts and we noticed what the rebooting Nats and GM Mike Rizzo did ultimately yr’s deadline. Their subsequent vital contributions to D.C. could be within the return they bring about if/when they’re dealt. However each will depart behind good examples for the gamers they impacted of their time within the nation’s capital.

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