Nationals

Nats catcher Lucroy feels like Keanu Reeves in The Replacements

Nationals

Just three days ago, the Nationals signed veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy to a minor league deal. On Tuesday, Lucroy was the Nationals' Opening Day backstop, going 1-for-4 with 2 RBI in the 6-5 win over the Braves.

The Nats were forced to turn to the two-time All-Star to help get them through the COVID-19 outbreak the team has been dealing with since last week.

Lucroy, along with a few other stopgap options, doesn't know how long he will have a role with the Nationals, considering their health situation. But he's happy to be along for the ride for however long it lasts.

"I feel kind of like a mercenary...or you know the movie The Replacements with Keanu Reeves at quarterback? Shane Falco? That's what I kind of feel like out there, it's kind of funny. But it's fun," Lucroy said after the game. "I mean look, I get to play baseball, no matter what happens after this. I'm with a great team, great organization, no matter what happens it's going to be great regardless."

Like Reeves in the 2000 classic, Lucroy is filling in for the "real" players who are unable to be on the field at the moment. But that doesn't mean he's giving anything less than his best effort for a franchise he has a great deal of respect for.

"I've been fortunate to be on a lot of great teams and be around almost 10 years," Lucroy continued. "So whatever happens is going to happen and I'm okay with it. I mean these guys, they gotta do what they gotta do, and they've got a special clubhouse. So I'm just happy to be a small part of it right now."

 

It's not yet clear how long the Nationals will need Lucroy in Washington. But there are far worse backup options than a player who is still just 34 years old and who was once considered the best catcher in baseball.

Considering he's on a minor league contract, the Nats will take whatever they can get from him to get through the early part of their season. A few more multi-RBI days, and they may be looking at keeping Lucroy even longer.