Bill Ladson

Robinson trying to slug his way on to 25-man roster

Veteran of eight Minor League seasons seeing time at first, outfield

Robinson trying to slug his way on to 25-man roster

VIERA, Fla. -- One thing Clint Robinson can do is hit. His RBI triple in the seventh inning helped the Nationals edge the Astros, 2-1, at Space Coast Stadium on Monday afternoon.

The score was tied at 1 when the Nationals took the lead against left-hander Kevin Chapman. After Tony Gwynn Jr. singled, Robinson tripled to center field, scoring Gwynn to make it a one-run game.

Robinson, who signed a Minor League contract this past offseason, is having a great spring, going 9-for-20 (.450). The 30-year-old is a career .302 hitter in eight Minor League seasons, but he hasn't been given much of a chance in the Major Leagues. In 2012, he went 0-for-4 in four games with Royals. His only other cup of coffee in The Show came last season, when he went 3-for-9 in nine games with the Dodgers.

Robinson's go-ahead triple

"I'm just going out trying to put together good at-bats," Robinson said. "I try to be the best that I can. There is nothing special about it, just playing the game."

Robinson has seen action at first base and the corner outfield spots. This year is the first time he has really worked in the outfield, and he appears to be holding his own.

"[Playing the outfield] is something I took very seriously. I've been working on it every day, especially during batting practice, making sure I take reps right off the bat," Robinson said. "At first, it was a little nerve-wracking, because it was unexpected and I know the winds can be tough in Florida, but I feel the more I'm out there the comfortable I get."

Manager Matt Williams is impressed by what he has seen from Robinson thus far.

"He has looked really good out there," Williams said. "I know he has done a lot of work both at first base and left field as well. He is more of a right fielder. That's where he is most comfortable. He's an athlete. He is a big man. With that brings some power. At the same time, with that big frame, he has a short stroke, which is repeatable. All that being said, he has all the tools that are necessary to have success."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.