Lane Thomas’ incredible series a bright spot for Nats originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
It’s been a tough stretch for the Washington Nationals. They’ve gone 4-15 in the month of August, dooming them to the second-to-last spot in the NL East in what looks like a lost season.
But despite the trials and tribulations of a whirlwind summer in the nation’s capital, one silver lining has emerged for the Curly W’s. His name is Lane Thomas.
He turns 26 on Monday, plays the outfield, and has called D.C. home for all of 24 days. Thomas arrived during part of the Nats’ fire sale that saw the loss of former starting pitcher Jon Lester.
Washington’s front office traded Lester to St. Louis in a one-for-one deal for Thomas, who to that point had only played 84 games in the majors. Now, he looks like a regular Ted Williams. They already have one of those in Juan Soto, but another would be just fine.
Before the Nats took on the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, Thomas had a torrid hitting stretch for Washington. In five games, he went 6-for-11 with four runs, a double, and a triple. Not to mention his defensive prowess, notching an outfield assist from the warning track.
It’d be reasonable to expect Thomas to cool off, but that remains to be seen. He continued his hot streak on Sunday, going 3-for-4 as the leadoff man with a double and a walk during the Nats’ 7-3 loss.
It’s unclear what Thomas’ role will be going forward for Davey Martinez. However, he was given the benefit of the doubt before Sunday’s 7-3 loss in Milwaukee. The team optioned fellow outfielder Andrew Stevenson to Triple-A Rochester — likely because they want to see if Thomas can keep this going.
The Nationals won’t be making the playoffs this year. Folks came to that realization after the series sweep to the woeful Orioles last month and the flurry of trades they made at the July 30 deadline as Washington stocked up on prospect talent.
Lane Thomas isn’t a true prospect at age 26 and he’s certainly not Ted Williams or Juan Soto even as hot as he’s started out with the club in a new opportunity and role. But he might just be a steal and a useful player the Nats will want to hang onto for a while.