According to William Ladson of MLB.com, outfielder Ben Revere will rejoin the Washington Nationals on Thursday. It is still unclear when Revere will be activated. The Nationals are set to wrap up a three-game set in Kansas City with the Royals this afternoon before travelling to Chicago to play the Cubs.
— William Ladson (@washingnats) May 4, 2016
Revere has only played in one game so far this season for the Nationals after injuring his right oblique on Opening Day. He had previously been targeting a mid-May return, and is slightly ahead of schedule. The Nationals have raced out to an 18-8 record, but their offense has performed inconsistently so far this season. Only Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos have swung consistently hot bats. Bryce Harper started off spectacularly, but is mired in a 2-for-26 slump over the past week. Jayson Werth has provided some power, but is batting .217. Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon have both hit for very little power, with both hitters carrying an OPS below .700.
The return of Revere should help spark the Nationals at the top of the order. With Michael Taylor serving as the primary leadoff man in Revere’s absence, the Nationals have the worst batting average in the league from the top of the order, .181. Taylor, who showed flashes of potential when pressed into duty last year due to Denard Span‘s season-long battle with injuries, has batted just .179/.213/.310 out of the one-hole with 28 strikeouts in 84 at-bats.
Revere is coming off the best season of his career, and was expected to help jump start the offense in Washington. Revere’s approach at the plate — swinging frequently and slapping singles — is not loved by some of the more analytically-minded baseball minds, but there is no denying that his ability to rack up base hits and pester opponents on the basepaths is an upgrade over the scuffling Taylor. His power output has gradually ticked upward each season of his career, and the speedster’s presence on the bases should allow Bryce Harper to see even more fastballs.