Nationals' offense should be improved

March, 10, 2009
03/10/09
3:39
PM ET
David Pinto:

    Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein appears to be making progress with Adam Dunn and Austin Kearns. He made changes to move Kearns back to how he was hitting when he came up. If Eckstein can get Zimmerman, Johnson, Dunn and Kearns to all improve, the Washington offense might not be too bad.

First, the Nationals' offense might not be too bad anyway. Granted, they did finish last in the National League in road scoring last year. But if they'd scored just 25 more runs (on the road) they'd have been ninth, ahead of the Dodgers. Yes, that's a big if, but adding Adam Dunn to the lineup gets them much of the way there.

Throw in full (or less empty) seasons from Ryan Zimmerman and Elijah Dukes and maybe even Nick Johnson -- plus a year of development for Lastings Milledge -- and there's no reason the Nats can't finish in the middle of the pack in scoring, and blow past last year's 59 wins by late August.

And second, if Rick Eckstein is personally responsible for improvements by Zimmerman, Johnson, Dunn and Kearns, then he'll be the greatest hitting coach in the history of hitting coaches, and I'll nominate him for the Hall of Fame the first chance I get.

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