The Nationals are grounding right into a ton of double performs


Josh Bell was one of the bright spots for the Washington Nationals within the first half of the season. The switch-hitting first baseman leads the group in batting common (.311), complete bases (172), hits (106) and doubles (21). However he leads Main League Baseball in a statistic that he would somewhat not: double performs grounded into.

Bell, who’s more likely to be dealt earlier than the Aug. 2 commerce deadline, has grounded into 18 double plays, three greater than Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and 4 greater than teammate Maikel Franco and Colorado Rockies second baseman Brendan Rodgers. He’s on tempo to floor into 31 double performs, which might tie for the fourth most in a season all-time and set a group file.

The Nationals lead all groups with 94 double plays grounded into, 11 greater than the Rockies and 30 greater than the MLB common. Washington is on tempo to floor into 162 double performs — one per recreation — and to guide the majors in that class for a second consecutive yr after grounding right into a team-record 158 in 2021. The main league file is 174, set by the 1990 Boston Pink Sox. Earlier than final yr, the Nationals hadn’t grounded into at the very least 150 double performs in a season since they totaled 153 in 2008.

Josh Bell has seen his work pay off, even if he’s not an all-star

Bell, who grounded right into a career-high 22 double performs final yr, suits the profile of a GIDP chief. He hits the ball onerous, strikes out lower than common and isn’t probably the most fleet of foot. He additionally has extra alternatives to floor into double performs than most; solely Pete Alonso (202) and Austin Riley (201) have extra plate appearances with men on base than Bell’s 198.

Whereas Bell would like to have extra months like his scorching June, when he didn’t floor right into a single double play, there’s spectacular firm on the high of the all-time single-season GIDP record. Corridor of Famer and Pink Sox legend Jim Rice grounded right into a file 36 double performs in 1984 and 35 extra the subsequent yr. Based on Baseball Reference, Cal Ripken Jr. and Jackie Jensen are two of the 5 gamers tied for third on the record with 32.

Bell and Franco aren’t the one Nationals with double-digit double performs this season. Nelson Cruz has grounded into 12, whereas Juan Soto, who led the Nationwide League with 23 final season, has 11. It’s no shock, then, that Washington ranks final in FanGraphs’ wGDP metric, which is the variety of runs above or beneath common a group has amassed primarily based on its capacity to remain out of double performs. Washington’s wGDP is minus-Eight.9; the Oakland Athletics are second worst at minus-Four. Solely the Chicago Cubs hit a higher percentage of groundballs within the first half than the Nationals, who put the ball on the bottom 46.9 p.c of the time and are scoring the fourth-fewest runs per recreation (three.87).

“We’re hitting into numerous double performs,” Manager Dave Martinez said this month. “We obtained to begin getting the ball up within the air in conditions, obtained to begin driving in runs with guys on third base with lower than two outs.”

Ryan Zimmerman holds the Nationals’ single-season file with 26 double plays grounded into in 2007. Ivan Rodriguez grounded into 25 — in 301 fewer plate appearances than Zimmerman — in 2010, and Yunel Escobar led the NL with 24 GIDP in 2015. Frank Howard owns the Washington single-season file with 29 in 1969 and 1971. Zimmerman grounded right into a Nationals-record 212 double performs in his profession; Howard grounded into 219.

The St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols holds the career record with 421 double performs grounded into. The opposite names atop the record are Ripken (350), Miguel Cabrera (347), Ivan Rodriguez (337), Hank Aaron (328), Carl Yastrzemski (323), Dave Winfield (319), Eddie Murray (315) and Rice (315).

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