Rizzo: Howie Kendrick deserves to be in the All-Star Game

Chris Lingebach
June 12, 2019 - 2:45 pm

Howie Kendrick's bat has been a stabilizing force all season in the Nationals lineup.

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The 35-year-old is hitting .325 (.961 OPS) with 10 doubles, 11 homers and 40 RBI in 56 games in 2019, especially impressive considering he missed nearly all of last season with a ruptured Achilles'.

Kendrick is as worthy of an All-Star selection as anyone on the Nationals, a point GM Mike Rizzo wanted to make clear during his weekly appearance with The Sports Junkies, presented by Burke & Herbert Bank.

"You know, we call him a professional hitter," Rizzo said. "We knew that when we got him. I didn't know what kind of professional gentlemen he is. He runs the clubhouse. He's the consummate leader on the bench, in the clubhouse, in the community and he's a terrific player. He's having an outstanding season."

"Thirty-five is one thing," he continued. "You know how we always talk about players' ages in these non-steroidal days of baseball, but 35 coming off a fully ruptured Achilles tendon, at his age, and playing the way he has played is remarkable to me. A guy that has shown the propensity to get big base-hits, use the entire field offensively and put on a power display that he's put on is remarkable."

"This guy hits tough pitching and good pitching as good as anybody we have," Rizzo said. "A guy that, to me, when you strip everything away, this is an All-Star player for us. He should be joining those guys in Cleveland in the All-Star Game, because he's literally carried this club offensively from day one, when we've had two-, three-, four-, five- and six-hole hitters out of the lineup at the same time.

"This guy carried us and has performed admirably for us."

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