Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 10/22/12
  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 2012. Enjoy. Steve Lombardozzi played an enormous role for the Washington Nationals this year, in what many people seem to forget was his rookie season. He had 32 plate appearances as a September call up in 2011, but he came in ready to make his value known in 2012. With Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa locked into their middle infielder roles, Lombardozzi, a local product from Columbia, Maryland, found his way into the lineup any way he could. Most of his action came in left field except for when he was spelling injuries to Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond. The main point here: wherever he was needed, he filled in admirably.  So admirably, in fact, that many fans wanted to see Lombo replace Espinosa at second base as he struggled at the plate. Lombardozzi finished the season with a .273/.317/.354 slash line. Not exactly staggering numbers, especially in the OBP column, but he filled in in big spots and had a few extremely successful months. He also finished in the Top 8 in offensive WAR (0.8), according to FanGraphs. To lend some perspective to that number, Danny Espinosa, in a disappointing offensive season, finished with a 3.8 WAR, fourth best on the team and tied with Adam LaRoche. Yes, Espinosa had a lot more plate appearances, but he was still among the most valuable members of the Nats. It is important to remember, though, that Lombardozzi is an extremely valuable role player and utility man, it's just his ceiling is much lower than Espinosa’s. Don’t expect him to replace Espinosa any time soon. Next year: Lombardozzi has proven himself an invaluable member of a great team, and a playoff team is really only as good as its bench. He was a critical member of the Goon Squad, and he’s available to play at least four positions on the field as a utility player. That’s where I expect to see Lombo come Opening Day 2013. Next up: #2 Roger Bernadina
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Alabama vs. Wisconsin showdown not selling many tickets

Report: Last-minute Deflategate settlement deal very unlikely

Aaron Rodgers doesn't want to play in 2016 Hall of Fame Game

Floyd Mayweather Sr.: Manny Pacquiao a 'liar with no skills'

Reports: LeSean McCoy's Week 1 status still uncertain

Jay Feely told Deflategate judge about 2009 kicking incident

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jon Gruden calls Marcus Mariota a ‘double-edged sword’

Report: Bills expected to cut Matt Cassel

Garcon: RG3 can be ‘great player on any team that he goes to’

Report: Cavs ‘convinced’ LeBron would not leave Cleveland again

Fred Jackson is upset Bills GM Doug Whaley wasn’t honest

Report: Jaguars won’t let Justin Blackmon leave for CFL

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker