Elijah Dukes was sent down to the minors today, and it’s not like he didn’t deserve it. He’s only batting .244/.308/.415 this year, and in the last month he’s dropped .100 points of OPS and has hit only .198/.253/.333. He needs to play to get his bat back, and playing for the major league team hurts them. Everyday play in the minors should get him right, at least that is the assumption, and then he can be brought back up to play for the big league team. But if he gets right by the end of the trade deadline, assuming he himself isn’t getting traded, then they need to bring him up immediately after.
Other Nationals who seemed to be in line for a possible demotion — such as Austin Kearns and Jesus Colome — are out of options, meaning Washington could not send either player to the minor leagues without at first allowing the other teams the chance to claim him.
I get it, you don’t want to just lose players. And since you’re having a fire sale, you want to see if someone will take a flyer on either of those players, no need to dump them. Maybe someone will take Kearns as a throw in to complete another trade. But once Kearns goes through the trade deadline with nary an offer for his services, if Dukes is hitting, you need to part ways with him.
Kearns is on the last year of his contract, and there’s no way he’s getting another one here. He’s hitting .197/.330/.322 for the year, and since May 9 he has hit .145/.253/.157. Over the last 2 years: .211/.317/.318. All of this is not pretty. After the trade deadline, if he can’t get moved, it’s time to cut ties. I know some fans are ready for that now, but I get why they want to hold on to him, and even try to play him in the next month. But after that… we’ve had enough already.