García's process not translating into results yet

MILWAUKEE – The Nationals’ decision to demote Luis García to Triple-A in early August was grounded in a desire for the struggling second baseman to develop better pregame routines that would hopefully translate into better in-game results.

And when they made the decision to call Garcia back up from Rochester last week, the Nats seemed to be indicating he had taken that message to heart and was ready to see how it translated to the big leagues again.

Eight games in, though, Garcia’s results still don’t match the process. If anything, he’s producing less now than he did in his previous big-league stint.

Since his Sept. 8 recall, Garcia is a mere 2-for-22 at the plate. He has zero extra-base hits. He has drawn one walk while striking out five times.

“Since he’s been here, he’s worked super hard on everything,” manager Davey Martinez said. “He’s got a really good routine going. He’s doing everything we’ve asked him to do. The hits aren’t coming right now, but I’m happy that he’s going out there and really trying to compete and doing things we want. The hits will come.”

The Nationals have to hope that comes true. García continues to get regular playing time, and he’s in the lineup tonight against the Brewers’ Corbin Burnes, though he isn’t typically starting against an opposing left-hander (as was the case Friday night against Wade Miley).

The 23-year-old, while admittedly stunned by his demotion at the time, came to grips with it quickly and set about to make the changes the organization was asking of him.

Upon learning he was coming back to D.C., he was determined to show everyone he could take the work he did in Rochester and translate it at this level, reshaping the perception of him heading into the offseason.

“I expect a lot of things these last few weeks,” García said, via interpreter Octavio Martinez, on Sept. 8. “But basically finish strong in the season, keep working with my routine and stay on my routine so that I can actually have more success on the field. That’s what I expect: to finish strong the last few weeks.”

It hasn’t happened yet, though, with weak contact on the ground the norm far more than line drives to the gaps.

“We’re trying to get his direction straight to the pitcher. He’s still flying open a little,” Martinez said. “As you know, he’s hitting a lot of ground balls. It’s because he’s not staying through the baseball. …

“We’ve got to get him to understand that staying in the middle of the field is good for him. He’s going to hit a lot of doubles doing that. We’ll get him there.”

Game 151 lineups: Nats vs. White Sox
Good friends Rutledge and Millas can laugh about w...

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to