Nationals president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo addressed his team’s brutal recent run of play, as Sam Fortier of the Washington Post was among those to report (links to Twitter). He made clear the organization is not looking to make any major changes — including in the managerial role.
Rizzo obviously saw the need to address the direction of the D.C. organization after a brutal series in New York. And he put to rest any questions about the safety of skipper Dave Martinez, though he didn’t do so in as formal a manner as the rival Mets did recently.
Chatting with reporters, Rizzo said that “there’s plenty of blame to go around.” He acknowledged that “it’s hard to watch sometimes,” an assessment of the club that is hard to argue with.
Rizzo made clear, though, that he doesn’t think it’d be sensible to make any momentous decisions at this point in time. “[W]e’re certainly not going to pull the plug before we’re a third … through the season,” he said.
While there’s obviously a desire to do something to spur a change, that assessment seems sensible. Martinez has faced his share of criticism, and no doubt shares in the blame, but there are numerous failings in the organization. Changing the manager isn’t going to magically turn the relief staff into a competent group. And roster changes are awfully tough to pull off this time of the year.
At some point, of course, that all may change. Regardless of what may occur with the dugout leadership, the club will certainly need to make some difficult calls if it remains buried in the division. Rizzo said he’d be willing to adjust as necessary if the direction doesn’t change, as the WaPo’s Jesse Dougherty tweets, though the club had a hard time letting go last year. Though the team ultimately moved several expiring contracts, ownership wasn’t able to pull the trigger on a Bryce Harper trade. Whether a similar decision will need to be made this summer on Anthony Rendon remains to be seen.