Maybe it is time to give Gonzalez a few more games.
Alberto Gonzalez went 4-4 with an RBI in Tuesday’s 7-2 win over the first place Atlanta Braves and played a solid overall game to help the Nats snap a five-game skid.
Gonzalez is a quality second baseman in the field. He works hard every day in batting practice and fielding drills and that translates to the field. With Ian Desmond struggling on defense, manager Jim Riggleman went with Cristian Guzman back at his familiar shortstop position and Gonzalez at second base. It worked to perfection.
Just like in a loss, you do not want to jump to conclusions. But Gonzalez’s outburst should not be overlooked and proves he can be an important part of this team and deserves more playing time.
I like Guzman and Gonzalez in the infield. Desmond and Gonzalez also would be nice to see. I imagine that Guzman won’t be here forever, so looking at options for the future is a good call. Let Gonzalez ride this horse for a few games, you know he will lock it up on defense.
In the outfield, how about Roger Bernadina in center every once and awhile if they want to give Nyjer Morgan a night off?
The platoon of Bernadina in center and Willie Harris in right field against right-handers is a good option, especially defensively.
I would have no qualms with Bernie in center field and even Mike Morse in right, even though Riggleman prefers to use them in rightie/leftie situations.
Tuesday’s lineup was interesting with Bernadina in the second spot, giving some protection for the 3-4-5 hitters. Ryan Zimmerman smacked a two-run double and Josh Willingham slammed a monster 2-run shot. They may not be related but it just makes sense. Because you still have Morgan and Bernadina speed to get the offense rolling before the big bashers step up in the batting order.
I also like Guzman in the lower half of the order because he can ignite the offense in the 7-8-9 hole with all the base hits he produces.
It worked for one night so let’s not get carried away. But it does open some avenues for discussion for those that want to see more Gonzalez or at least some changes to shake things up. When you lose 29 of 43, it is a good idea to at least entertain these thoughts.