Dozier said Tuesday that the bone bruise in his left knee is 100 percent healed, Mark Zuckerman of MASN Sports reports. Dozier dealt with a bone bruise throughout much of the 2018 campaign. While the issue was never serious enough to warrant a trip to the disabled list, it apparently led the veteran infielder to develop bad habits at the plate, which could help explain his down year (.215/.305/.391 in 151 games with the Twins and Dodgers). Dozier still managed to collect double-digit homers (21) and steals (12) for the sixth consecutive season, and will be an attractive bounce-back candidate in 2019 after signing a one-year deal with the Nationals.
Dozier agreed to a one-year, $9 million contract with the Nationals on Thursday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports. The veteran second baseman had a down year overall in 2018, producing his worst batting average (.215) and on-base percentage (.305) of his career, as well as his second-worst slugging percentage (.391) ever. However, he still managed to produce 21 home runs and 12 stolen bases, the sixth consecutive season in which he put up double-digit totals in both categories. Despite the positives, Dozier's struggles cooled his market considerably, but the Nationals decided to pounce in order to fill their second base vacancy. Dozier figures to be the frontrunner for the starting gig at second base, with Howie Kendrick, Wilmer Difo and Adrian Sanchez posing as the only threats to the top spot on the depth chart.
Dozier will bat atop the order and man second base for Game 2 of the World Series against Boston on Wednesday. Manager Dave Roberts will keep the 31-year-old at the leadoff position after he went 0-for-2 with a walk and one run scored during Tuesday's game. Following Dozier in the order will be Justin Turner and David Freese with Manny Machado in the cleanup spot.
Dozier is not starting Saturday against the Giants, Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.com reports. Dozier has fallen into the short side of a platoon in September, starting against every lefty while sitting against every righty over the last 21 games. With righty Dereck Rodriguez on the mound Saturday, Dozier finds himself on the bench, but expect him back in the lineup for the finale against southpaw Andrew Suarez.
Dozier is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Diamondbacks, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. Dozier will sit for a second straight game with right-hander Zack Greinke toeing the rubber for the Diamondbacks. In his place, Chris Taylor is starting at the keystone and hitting eighth.