From Opening Day until May 10th, Pudge might have been the hottest hitter in baesball. He hit .393 / .417 / .528. This was unexpected considering Pudge hadn't cracked .300 since 2006, he had seen his batting average decline from .300 to .281 to .276 to .249 the past 4 years, he had gotten older turning 38 in November of last year, and he was still playing the most physically demanding position on the field. All signs pointed to maybe one last year of low .200s batting and a nice little retirement package that he could look over for 5 years until he went to Cooperstown. Instead here he was slapping singles like nobody's business all over the National League. Could this be a Pudge resurgence? One last season of great play made possible by extra conditioning, or a new attitude, or providence?
Since May 10th Pudge has hit .214 /.245 /.265. Prior to that Pudge's balls were finding everyhole (BABIP in the high .300s), but as the season has worn on that has evened out a bit and there is still some ways to go.
Of course Rodriguez's worth is not simply tied into his batting. He's still good behind the plate and the Nats still have nothing healthy in the wings to even come close to threatening taking his spot. They needed someone who could catch and be better than Wil Nieves, and they got it. But this is the Pudge the Nats signed to a 2 year deal for eleventy million dollars. A guy that can fill the position on the field, but at the plate is far past his prime and as an everyday player only offers another hole in a Nats lineup that has too many already.