Wilmer Difo: Keystone Light? Or Just Right?
Wilmer Difo is more than just a fill in second baseman- and he’s proved it.
In their still young 2018 Campaign, the Washington Nationals have had a rough go with the injury bug. The relentless rate of attrition in the outfield has been trying, but has cleared the way for other players like Juan Soto to shine. And then there was the challenge we knew was coming well before the season began- the vacancy left at the keystone with Daniel Murphy on the mend.
It’s incredibly difficult to replace Daniel Murphy’s production, however, the Nats may have something here in Wilmer Difo. Is he lighting the world on fire? Not necessarily. But he has done an admirable job while standing in for a player who leaves some pretty big shoes to fill. His production has continued to trend in the right direction and he really has begun to put his game together as of late. He’s made clutch plays with the leather as well as the bat- and he continues to improve.
Difo has been especially good as his starting role has solidified from late April through May. In the last 30 games, he is batting a nice .292/.360/.449 line with 10 RBI’s, 10 walks, 7 extra base hits (3 dingers included). He’s been even more impressive at home this season. In the confines of Nat’s Park, Difo is slashing a smoldering .343/.420/.489 on the season.
Davey Martinez says that Murphy is very close to returning from his rehab stint in Double-A Harrisburg and we may see him within the first week of June. So what will Davey do with Difo? This guy deserves to stay up, but this could be an impossible choice. With stars on the mend and the fill-ins trending upwards, the Nationals are just a half game out of first in the NL East. This is a very, very good problem to have.
Stay tuned, this could get fun.