Despite dealing with a sore left thigh for over a month now, Ian Desmond has played nearly every day for the Nationals and has stolen a career-high 20 bases.
To help with the injury, Manager Jim Riggleman gave Desmond the final game of the San Diego series off so that the shortstop could get two consecutive days off, as Monday the team didn’t play. And the same will likely happen Sunday and Monday, Riggleman said.
But even with the nagging injury, Desmond has still managed to play well. In Friday’s 8-4 win over the Orioles, Desmond stole two bases — the third time he has done so in game this season — and finished 2 for 5 with two runs driven in.
“He’s definitely running more and it’s a little tentative because I don’t think he feels 100 percent,” Riggleman said. “... We’re trying to get him some days.
In 154 games last season, Desmond stole 17 bases and was caught five times. This season, he has only been caught stealing three times.
“He is amazing,” Riggleman said. “He’s able to manage his little issue he has going on with his leg with still being aggressive. He scored from second on some singles. He’s stolen some bases. He’s gone first to third. He’s able to do these things without overextending himself. He’s on his own. He’s picking his spots. He’s picking good spots to this point to run. He’s doing it with his aggressiveness and his instincts. He’s a fast runner but it’s not a blazing speed fast. The fact that he has as many stolen bases as he does is a credit to his technique and his aggressiveness.”