WASHINGTON -- The acquisition of Kurt Suzuki means that Jesus Flores will be on the bench for the Nationals. Entering Saturday's action against the Marlins, Flores is hitting .221 with three home runs and 18 RBIs.
But offense is not the reason Suzuki was acquired. According to two team sources, the Nationals were unhappy with Flores' game calling. They said that Flores would often go against the game plan against opposing hitters. There were even some in the organization who felt that Flores cared more about his offense than his game calling.
Flores's future is uncertain after the season. The Nationals will likely go into Spring Training with Suzuki and Wilson Ramos as the catchers, provided that Ramos has fully recovered from right knee surgery.
One has to assume that Flores' future with the club is shaky at best, although general manager Mike Rizzo praised Flores after the trade. Flores said he understood the situation that he put himself in.
"Us, as a player, we need to understand that this is a business," Flores said. "This is a job, you have to do well and if you don't do it well, you are going to be replaced. I feel like I worked hard, I prepare myself to have a great season and I had the opportunity.
"It has been kind of hard not to be as productive as I thought. But I feel proud that I've been doing the best that I could just to [help the pitchers out]. If we really need another guy, they will know the reasons. But I haven't been told anything yet."