Throughout the offseason, The Nats Blog will look back at every player’s 2012 season to summarize and analyze his performance, and we’ll look ahead to his possible role in 2013. We’ll go from #1 Steve Lombardozzi all the way to #63 Henry Rodriguez with about two posts per week until Spring Training. Enjoy.
On the field Mark DeRosa wasn’t the Nationals biggest superstar this year by a long shot, but off the field as a 15-year veteran with a World Series ring, he served as a valuable veteran presence, which the young Nationals lacked.
Specifically sought out by Davey Johnson last offseason in his bench-remodeling project, DeRosa played in just 48 games this season and started 16, filling in at several positions when injuries claimed other players. He ended 2012 with a slash line of .188/.300/.247 -- the worst final numbers he ever tallied for a major league season. But the value he added to the Nationals’ clubhouse all but made up for it.
DeRosa saw a significant decrease in playing time at the end of the season after missing 50 games for an oblique injury and the death of his father. He was not included on the playoff roster, but throughout the stressful season’s end, he served as a mentor to his teammates, a confidant for Stephen Strasburg during the shutdown debacle, and an inspiration to the team during the postseason with his performance of former president Theodore Roosevelt’s famous “The Man in the Arena” speech before Game 4 of the NLDS.
Next Year: At 37 years old, retirement is an option for DeRosa, but one he isn’t sure if he’s ready for yet, according to the Washington Post. He would hope to rejoin the Nationals next year, but I’m inclined to think that he has served his purpose with the team as a veteran guy who helped guide the Nationals through their first competitive year. It's unlikely that he'll be asked back, and he may have trouble landing a team for the 2013 season.
Up Next: #8 Danny Espinosa