Today, we take at look at a Canadian with more than 14 years of service time: Matt Stairs.
Why?: To be completely honest with you, we're not entirely sure. Jim Riggleman has all but assured fans and writers that Stairs will be part of the Opening Day lineup this season. As if the Nats don't get enough pop from the middle of the lineup with Werth, Zimmerman, LaRoche, Morse, and Ankiel, the Nats Manager feels the need to have a guy on the team that has absolutely no redeeming defensive qualities.
To be sure, Matt Stairs is a beast of a pinch hitter and will act as a good player/hitting coach. Hailing most recently from the Phillies and Padres, Stairs continues to crank home runs as a pinch hitter. But that is literally all he is: a pinch hitter. With a Nats team with a heaping pile of offense already that's trying to concentrate on defense, we don't quite get the commitment to adding Stairs to the 25-man roster.
Also of note, Stairs started his career with the Expos back in 1992, so I guess there's some nostalgia there to be had.... I'm not buying into that though.
What to expect?: Stairs will do what he does: hit lots of home runs in not a lot of at bats. We all know Jim Riggleman's affinity for double switches and playing the manager's mind game, so it's possible that Stairs could get a lot of pinch hit opportunities.
Expect Matt Stairs to hit between 6 and 10 home runs and having a batting average below .250 in about 100 at-bats. Let's hope his presence as a proven professional hitter will help the Nats hitters who will be with the club for the long haul.