Washington Nationals look to utilize Matt Stairs in pinch hitting scenarios
Things look very good for the Washington Nationals in Viera, Florida. The club is making good progress with the entire team so far and it appears the players will be cropping up some of the best performances in the 2011 Major League Baseball season when
it kicks off on the 31st of March. The Nats are looking to perfect their roster with right credible additions this spring and it appears Matt Stairs will make the team in the 25 – man roster.
Manager Jim Riggleman recently came out to declare to the press that Stairs has a good chance of making it to the final selection team as his minor league contract is expected to be put in good use. Before going up against the Detroit Tigers in the Grapefruit
League, the player was set on 5 – for – 16 in his spring ranking. With a hitting average of .313 and three RBIs to his name, he looks set to join Alex Cora and Jerry Hairston Jr. on the squad as a potential leader.
“We brought Matt in here because of what he has done in the past, and we see no indication that he can’t do that,” Riggleman said. “He has a real good chance of being on the club.”
Stairs has one quality that Riggleman wants the most out of him at the moment. That happens to be his potential on the plate to hit as a pinch hitter. In that particular role, Stairs has come in to hit .263 with the bat. His 23 home runs and 66 RBIs stand
as testament to that belief. The player’s famous knock came against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2008 National League Championship, when he hit a two run home run to lift the Philadelphia Phillies to a 7 – 5 victory in Game 4.
“When I pinch hit, I have tremendous concentration for one at-bat,” Stairs said recently. “I enjoy playing – that’s for sure, but I enjoy getting up for the mindset of pinch-hitting late in the game.”
Stairs will truly serve as an exceptional player on the plate. It will be interesting to see how effective his pinch hitting will be in the new season.