Matt Adams began the 2017 season on the bench for the Cardinals, making just 53 trips to the dish through May 19. But then Freddie Freeman got hurt and the Braves came a-calling. Adams hit .314 with 10 homers in June and remained at first initially upon Freeman's return with Freeman temporarily shifting to the hot corner. It wasn't long before Freeman returned to first, pushing Adams to the outfield for semi-regular at-bats. In mid-August, Adams was primarily used as a pinch-hitter, with occasional starts in the field. Perceived to be a high-strikeout hitter, Adams' career 76 percent contact rate isn't terrible in today's climate, but a six percent walk rate renders him susceptible to slumps. This, along with struggles versus southpaw pitching, expose the left-handed swinger when afforded regular opportunities. He will be the backup at first base in Washington after signing a one-year deal in December.
Adams will agree to a one-year, $4 million deal with Washington on Wednesday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. Adams will look to fill the void of Adam Lind as a backup first baseman and spare left fielder for the Nationals in 2018, following the Braves' decision to non-tender him earlier this month. During the 2017 season split between St. Louis and Atlanta, Adams slashed .274/.319/.522 with 20 home runs and 65 RBI in 131 games. Although his strikeout rate was right at 24 percent, Adams could be an effective weapon against right-handers after holding an .896 OPS against them this past year, and will provide some added pop and an extra bat for Washington's bench. In addition to the deal, Adams will have the chance to earn up to $500,000 in performance bonuses.
The Braves declined to tender Adams a contract for 2018, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Adams made $2.8 million in 2017 in his second year of arbitration eligibility and likely would have been due a decent raise after slashing .274/.319/.522 with 20 homers. Paying that amount simply didn't make sense for a Braves team without a place to play him. Look for Adams to land a platoon job in 2018.
Adams is still dealing with a sore hamstring and is being limited to pinch-hitting duty for now, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Adams started Saturday for the first time in nearly two weeks, but his sore hamstring must not have approved, as he has come off the bench since. Adams was able to pinch hit in both ends of Monday's doubleheader, so he should be able to get in a few more at-bats before the season ends. He may not start again until 2018, however.
Adams (hamstring) is in the lineup for Saturday's game against the Phillies. Adams has not started a game since Sept. 10, but he will do so Saturday at first base in place of Freddie Freeman. Adams will hit fifth against Phillies starter Henderson Alvarez.
Adams (hamstring) is not in the lineup against the Phillies on Friday. Adams remains limited with a hamstring issue that has sidelined him for almost two weeks now. The 29-year-old has only been able to record two plate appearances, both coming as a pinch hitter, since suffering the setback Sept. 10.