This year, the second basemen are dragging down the team in a similar fashion.
Together, the Nationals second basemen have posted a line of .228 AVG / .297 OBP / .298 SLG in 450 plate appearances.
By player, it breaks down like this:
- Alberto Gonzalez: 71 PA, .266 / .324 / .375
- Anderson Hernandez: 216 PA, .250 / .312 / .310
- Willie Harris: 29 PA, .207 / .343 / .241
- Ron Belliard: 101 PA .163 / .230 / .239
- Alex Cintron: 2 PA .000 / .000 / .000
To get a rough estimate of how much the Scats' keystone cops are costing the team in wins, we can use the very most simple formula for runs created: OBP x SLG x PA. (There are lots of much more precise calculations, factoring in base-running and all sorts of other metrics, but this is good enough to get us in the ballpark.)
This calculation gives us a total of 39.8 RC total for the season to date. If the Nationals were getting just league-average offense, they would have produced 65.1 runs to date, a difference of 25.3 runs.
Since every 10.1 or so in run differential is typically worth another win, that means the Nationals are 2.5 wins below average at second, with one-third of the season remaining.
Ultimate Zone Rating says the Nationals second basemen have been just about average overall fielding, so it could be worse.
Regardless it's terrible. And in case the comparison to an "average" second baseman doesn't hurt enough, try this. Former National Maicer Izturis, traded with Juan Rivera for Jose Guillen, is hitting .302 / .349 / .431 and playing a +7.7 runs above average defense, all while making just $1.6 million.
Give Izturis those 450 PA, and you get 68 runs of offense. Add his glove, and you're about 33 runs ahead. That's three wins in 107 games, a huge difference.