He took Thursday off. Taylor has hit in three games for the P-Nats, going 2-for-7 (.286) with two intentional walks, two strikeouts, two runs and a stolen base.
Potomac manager Tripp Keister says there is a back story to the pair of intentional walks, which relates to the rivalry between Lynchburg and his club. The Hillcats catcher Sicnarf Loopstok was a single a way from hitting for the cycle in a game on Aug. 1 and Keister intentionally walked him, which drew the ire of the Lynchburg manager.
“They were mad at me (Tuesday night) towards the end of the game,” Keister said. “So they felt like I stopped him from having a chance to go for the cycle. He needed a single for the cycle. I walked him. So they felt like they wanted to walk Michael Taylor (Wednesday). That’s what they tried to do.”
Keister said he can’t worry about his opponent’s single-game records or anything he’s trying to fight to stay in the division race.
“To tell you the truth: I knew he had a bunch of hits and a bunch of RBIs (six), which is why I walked him,” Keister said. “I didn’t know he needed the single for the cycle. Somebody said something to me about it. I really don’t care. We are trying to win a ballgame. It was the right play. It was the right baseball move. We did it. I got to worry about my team and do what’s best for our team and our guys, so I did.
“We had a base open, we walked him. Got the next guy out, so it was the right play. I think the guy had 12 hits in the series. I don’t worry about the other team. I coach our team. We won a series against a really good team in our league.”
So Lynchburg intentionally walked Taylor twice, but he still managed to get another at-bat and ended up 1-for-2 in the game with two runs scored.
“I’ve known Michael since I’ve been in the organization,” Keister said. “I get a chance to get back together with him a little bit and talk about some things. He felt so good he kind of begged me for another at-bat, so I gave it to him. He got a single in his last at-bat. He looks good, he feels good. The big thing with him is how does he respond after a day of BP and playing the outfield and how does he respond. Seeing how he feels (today) is obviously a big deal.
“He stole a base. His legs are still good and he played center field, covers ground out in center field and he makes it look easy. He glides out there. It’s fun to watch him play center field.”
All indications are that Taylor is closer to getting back to the Nats. A likely landing spot back on the active roster would be as the Nats return from Chicago and begin a long homestand Monday night against the Marlins.
Update: Taylor went 1-for-4 with a single leading off and playing center field for the P-Nats in there 8-2 loss to WInston-Salem. Now we monitor today’s lineup and see how Taylor recovers day-to-day.