Skip to content

Best second baseman in baseball?

Jun 28, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Danny Espinosa clubbed his 15th homer of the season last night.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Davey Johnson knows a thing or two about playing second base. He did win three Gold Gloves at the position, mind you.

So when the Nationals' new manager starts heaping praise upon his rookie second baseman, Danny Espinosa, it carries some significant weight.

And Johnson couldn't stop raving about Espinosa after last night's game, particularly about two plays he made in the field during the Nationals' 4-3, 10-inning loss to the Angels: 1) His backing up of first base on a bunt play in which John Lannan threw wide, and 2) His turn of a slick, 5-4-3 double play.

"He made two plays today that, you know, I thought I was pretty good, but I'm not sure I could make them," Johnson said. "He saved us two runs in the first inning on the bunt when he got back there and he caught the ball. Because it would have been second and third, and a fly ball and they'd have scored two runs. Then the play he made onRead more ยป

  1. Not Werth It - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    He hit that home run last night and then acted like that was exactly what he knew was going to happen. Man I love this kid.ESPNosa for ROY!

  2. N. Cognito - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    Congrats to Espi. Now, no matter how poorly he hits in high or medium-leverage situations, he will forever be considered a "clutch" hitter.

  3. shraf1 - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Rickie Weeks says what up

  4. K.D. - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    He is just a ton of fun to watch and seems to be well-grounded and not to full of himself. He has appeared to have put it all together pretty quickly in the big leagues.

  5. Bowdenball - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Seems to me that the other top ROY candidates are on the Braves' pitching staff. Hopefully the Nats can help out Espinosa's campaign by smacking around guys like Kimbrel and Beachy as the season goes on.

  6. NatStat - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Like his HR & RBI competitive team mate Morse, Espi does well with taking advice from Rick Eckstein. Now if we could get some of the other guys like Werth to do similarly, we could zip up the NL Batting Standings, instead of being in last place!

  7. Kevin Rusch - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    So, while I'm not a Desmond-hater, at what point should we start to ask questions how big a part of the future he is? He's been a real disappointment at the plate so far. His defense is much better, but the thought of having Espinosa at SS and someone like Lombardozzi at 2b is pretty exciting.Also, can Bixler play CF? Someone with that speed, and the ability to get on base from time to time, sounds kinda appealing.

  8. Mark'd - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Good stuff Mark. I still think Cano, Weeks, and Phillips are good and tough comparisons to say who is better. Espi's RH numbers are All Star worthy and the LH stats are improving.It should be Morse or Espi as the All Star and neither are a lock so it will come down to Bochy. With some luck both will get in. The 2 of them have been carrying the offense for the past month.

  9. A DC Wonk - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    Kevin Rusch said… So, while I'm not a Desmond-hater, at what point should we start to ask questions how big a part of the future he is?He batted .269/.308/.392 last year, so there's good potential upside. We just need to wait it out (similar to Werth, etc.). He's not the only one hitting poorly this year (Zim, Ramos, etc etc.)

  10. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    @Natstat I was thinking the same thing why doesn't Werth learn from Espi. But again I think Werth's troubles are his eyes. He needs to see the ball better, and might need help seeing better.

  11. erocks33 - Jun 28, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    While I'd love to see Lombardozzi up here this year, I just don't see it happening. To do so, they would definitely need to shift Espi over to SS, and typically that's not a good thing to do in the middle of the season. Position changes should be done during the off-season, Spring Training, or heck-even during September if the team is out of the playoff picture.Also, I just don't see the advantage of calling up Lombo or Antonelli just to have them sit on the bench waiting to pinch-hit or start one game every 10-14 days. If you're going to call them up, they would need to play everyday so that they can get used to playing in the majors.I have seen discussions/questions about whether Desmond should try playing center field. Well, I have another question that I haven't seen asked before … can Lombardozzi play CF? He's quick, has decent range as a MI, has a decent arm (not a cannon like Ankiel or Bernadina but not a wet noodle like Nyjer), and could conceivably be the leadoff hitter/CF the Nats have been looking for. Anyone have any thoughts on this??

  12. Not Werth It - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    Davey Johnson on Espi's HR via the Washington Times:"He only hit that thing like 500 feet," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson. "I'm glad I've got a good rotator cuff because he almost broke my arm when he (high-fived) it."Watching these guys is getting fun, no?

  13. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Nice story how good Espinosa has looked. And I am officially a Desmond-hater; he makes it way too easy to be a hater. He should be in 'Cuse figuring out his game. Rizzo does not have the guts to move him down; he has too much pride. The kid has never played above average D at any level and there's not much reason to expect an OPS north of .700. He will not take a walk, no matter hoe much a situation calls for him to do so; he swings and misses far too often for a guy with little power. He aint ready to be in the bigs right now. He should be playing every day in the minors. dfh21

  14. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    As I said : budding superstar. Doesn't matter what position Espinosa ends up playing. ~smiles~ I still remember all the posters who thought he belonged in the minors to get more seasoning. And Werth (not to mention Stairs and Desmond) were doing far far worse.

  15. Steve M. - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    erocks33 said… I have seen discussions/questions about whether Desmond should try playing center field. Well, I have another question that I haven't seen asked before … can Lombardozzi play CF? He's quick, has decent range as a MI, has a decent arm (not a cannon like Ankiel or Bernadina but not a wet noodle like Nyjer), and could conceivably be the leadoff hitter/CF the Nats have been looking for. Anyone have any thoughts on this?? June 28, 2011 12:55 PM I commented in the other thread about Lombardozzi and Antonelli tearing it up. They are both 2nd baseman presumably as their best positions.Its great the Nats have depth at 2nd but unless you start grooming someone at SS in case Desmond fizzles out, how do you get these guys playing time and it has to be that someone changes positions. So taking your suggestion, generally CF is much harder than LF so I would start one of them there. The place to do it is in the Minors and its a head scratcher that nobody has attempted to do it Syracuse. So instead, Antonelli DH's there.Then you add Rendon to the mix and he will most likely for the short-term need a change of position too and most point to 2nd base.So the team has plenty of 2nd baseman unless they move Espi to SS where I don't believe he will look Gold Glove. I don't think he will be any upgrade defensively over Desi as he has done well there the last 2 months. So if you replace Desi with Espi it has to be a net-net gain and I don't think Rizzo wants to do it but I could be wrong unless you move Rendon to 2nd and Desi becomes your utility bench rover like Hairston.

  16. Not Werth It - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    Seriously you guys, this is when being a Nats fan is supposed to be fun. After years of incompetance we have a surging team full of young potential. This post was a positive one about how amazing a year Espi is having.Desmond's defense has improved dramtically, which is yet another reason it has been so fun to see the Nats play as of late. He is also somehow leading the team in stolen bases and has only been thrown out THREE times. Stop whining and enjoy the ride.

  17. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Well, shortstops need quickness and range on ground balls, a good arn, and a quick release in double plays, and a center fielder needs to judge fly balls quickly, run fast, and a good arm for longer throws. But maybe a year in the minors to assume learn the position, in his thirties, after he's become an established mlb player and heard smart baseball people rave about him at shortstop, is a good idea.

  18. The Dude Abides - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    That post at 1:06 makes no sense at all! They must be on the wrong site because this site's been lauding Danny Espinosa all season. Another neganon lying to themselves (or at least making up stuff to soothe their own agenda).

  19. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    *arm-assume-(apparently the strikeout tag don't go here. Or is Werth using it today?)

  20. TheRube - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    I understand the Desi groaning, but I have no problem giving him a little more rope. As has been stated several times today, last year he batted .269/.308/.392. Until the entire team is batting at their career average and Desi is the only one lacking, how is it even a question that he should be our SS? He's playing great d, has great chemistry with Espi, and is running the bases extremely well. I cringe every time he swings seemingly without looking at the ball, but I have no problem letting him work this out the rest of the season.Also, what's with the desire to move guys around? I always thought once a guy plays significant time at a position in the majors you really shouldn't fool with it. People hate on Ankiel, why would moving Desi to center be a good idea?

  21. Steve M. - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    I still think Nix is hurt and he has actually slumped during the winning streak going from .307 on June 4th to .270 now. He only has 1 mult-hit game in all of June. Time to put him back on the bench or send him to the DL.His defense has been bad too. I just can't understand why they all of a sudden decided to put him in LF last night. I think if Hairston or Bixler was there, the game could have had a better outcome.

  22. dj in Fl. - Jun 28, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Excellent Article on why the Tune inn is an Insiders favorite bar.http://wtop.com/?nid=41&sid=2439793Just keep doing what you are doing Danny and the weaker areas will catch up with your strengths.What a great problem to have, lots of talent being developed.

  23. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Nix isn't slumping. This is who he is. The Nix we saw earlier this year was a combination of tremendous luck and platooning.

  24. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Recall my posts in May about Danny being the best player on the team at the time not named Z….that he clearly was the Nat most representative of the future direction and he should be the token ALL STAR……oh and Riggs would be gone and team would play .500 or above….I really love being right about all these things…..Makes Baseball fun to watch again after so many long dark years of Millage an Acta…Morgan and Riggs….Go NATS!JAYB

  25. baseballswami - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    On of my favorite Nats memories ( pretty recent, in fact) – was last fall, maybe Labor Day? when Danny went on an absolute offensive tear. Intimidated by being up in the bigs? Not him. I have never seen him look like he didn't belong right where he is. We took on veterans in the off-season, but the production and leadership is coming from the young guys. I really love it! GYFNG!

  26. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Thanks for clarifying, sec3. I wasn't sure what you were trying for there, although I was pretty sure that assume the position and learn the position had different meanings. :-D (and the Captcha is "routr"?)Sec 3, My Sofa said… *arm -assume- (apparently the strikeout tag don't go here. Or is Werth using it today?) June 28, 2011 1:19 PM

  27. masnstinks - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    I would like to officially inform all of you NI posters that I am being seriously challenged at work. I used to be able to read all of the posts on breaks and at lunch – or sneak a few in. During this last couple of weeks, the number of posts to read has increased so much that I can't keep up without neglecting my work. I feel like I need a 12 step program. Back to work – I would love to comment about Espi but it will have to wait until I get home!

  28. SonnyG10 - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Steve, I agree with you re Nix. I think he's still hurt also.I really would like to see Espinosa get selected for the ASG. I think we have a superstar here in the making.I am a fan of Desi and I think the dp combination of Desi and Espi is awesome. As for his hitting, Desi does need to improve, which I believe he will. I have been wondering for a while if he is pressing to try to keep up with Espinosa.

  29. Unkyd - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    LOVE Espy!!! I'll take 12 years, @2nd base, please…As for my boy, Desi… Somebody will get to hIm. If he could bat .270 last year, as a rookie, he can be a .280-.285 career guy. Patience and discipline can absolutely be acquired, and I've heard NOTHING negative about him, personally… seems to be a standup guy, great teammate, loves the local kids, sign lotsa autographs…. You have to love this guy! This is the kind of guy we should all have in our prayers, the people you WANT to have succeed. Waiting on him, a little longer will pay off in great karma. Let's just send him to Yoda's Batting Camp, in the offseason!

  30. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    The first step is admitting that you have a problem, masnstinks. Baby steps. :-)Would love to see Espi representing at the ASG, and am enjoying watching him as a big league guy after having seen him as a P-Nat back in the day.Go, Danny! Go, NATS!!

  31. PAY TO PLAY - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    JayB, wow, you were right about something? You make so many doom and gloom predictions and luckily few ever come true. If you said something good about Espy, great for you as many others have too. Have to love people coming out of the woodwork taking credit. Too funny.We have some very good people on here that have evaluated the talent and called the "shots" before they have happened of which Danny was one of them.Espy's issue always has been his LH hitting for average. If he can fix that, he will be spoken of alongside Robinson Cano. As of now, he is having a really good year.

  32. PAY TO PLAY - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    baseballswami said… We took on veterans in the off-season, but the production and leadership is coming from the young guys. I really love it! GYFNG! June 28, 2011 2:09 PM The KARDIAC KIDS! I consider Morse a kid in terms of games played!

  33. NatsLady - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Look, Desi cleaned up his act tremendously as far as defense. Night and day. That's clearly where his focus has been. Now, give him a chance to focus on offense for a while, see if he can put both sides together.

  34. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    "…I really love being right about all these things….."That's what you call your adagio home run trot, there. Still, a tater's a tater.

  35. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    dj in Fla, thx for the Tune Inn link. Do let us locals know when it is set to re-open.*I loved this line:"They found a chemical solution that can remove some smoke damage from the animal heads, and sent the more delicate pieces — a bear shot by Nardelli's grandfather, the founder, and a pheasant walking down stairs — off to be cleaned professionally."Where does one send a founder to be cleaned nowadays?

  36. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    Oh, and the captcha was "rummi."

  37. DFL - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Regarding Laynce Nix, anyone with a 5-1 K to BB ratio will be prone to slumps. He has a poor batting eye and good pitchers know how to take advantage.

  38. erocks33 - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    don't get me wrong, I've always been in Desi's camp. I like watching him at short, especially with Espi at 2nd. There are quite a few here that would love to see Desi gone (or moved to another position). Not me. But, there does seem to be a young crop of MI's quickly rising to the top and the Nats will need to address what to do with them. So far (small sample size, I know), Lombardozzi has adapted well to AAA pitching and we can only hope he continues to do so. But, he is currently playing 2B and there should be no way Espi be moved away from there. By most accounts, Lombo doesn't have the arm or range to play SS or 3B everyday, so what do you do with him, especially if he continues hitting at a .300/.370/.440 pace and slowly becoming a top leadoff prospect? Does he have the ability to switch to CF? That's the Nats' biggest need right now (as well as leadoff), so is it conceivable that Lombo could become both for the Nats next season??And as for Rendon, let's sign him first before we anoint him any position.

  39. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    Desmond is not playing great D; he is playing much better D. He is not sterling with the glove, saving hits left and right. He is a midling SS. He has the tools to do much better, but he literally has never played any better than he is playing right now at any professional level as a SS. As good as he has been, he has recently, and only recently, been a servicable SS. So, his glove is not making up for his bat right now. If he needs to concentrate on the D to the point that it makes him, a singles hitter with great SB potential, swing at 3-0 sliders in the dirt, then he should not be playing in the bigs. This kid might have great potential, but he should be learning the craft in the minors, not at the expense of the big club and pitchers who are playing for contracts and such.dfh21

  40. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    Recall my posts in May about JayB being an idiot….I really love being right about all these things

  41. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:02 PM

    Anonymous said… Recall my posts …But those weren't your posts. Somebody else posted that.

  42. Unkyd - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Desi belongs right where he is…until his replacement is here. Espy stays at 2nd, and Reyes, if that's what we wanna do, should be a FA option, after the season, so he costs draft picks, instead of our Precious Prospects. Desi's done his time, and prolly leather all theo IRS have to teach him…. Time to sink or swim, and he has my unfailing support, until ASB 2012, at least… Rendon, Lombo, or Antonelli… If noe of them can switch to CF/ LO, them trade a couple of them for one….I BELiEVE

  43. HHover - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    anon/dfh21You're just determined to play Eeyore when it comes to Desmond, aren't you?You're right that his defense still isn't good enough to rank him an elite defender, but it's more than adequate, and the extent and rapidity of the his improvement this year certainly give reason to think he hasn't reached his peak. As for his offense: yeah, it's down this year. But I don't know why you're singling him out when he's hardly the only or even the worst offender on the 25 man roster, nor why you think he can make quicker or better adjustments in the minors than he can by staying with the big league club.

  44. Unkyd - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    ?!?!?! "prolly leather all theo IRS"Wow…. Learned all the minors have to teach himI couldn't read that one, myself!

  45. baseballswami - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    Pay to Play – I agree with you about MM – he seems very young-ish ( as well as being hitterish), because of his ml experience time. Does anyone know how many games in mlb he has actually started? I don't think he had started any at first base before LaRoche went on the dl – is that right? Just watch him – he is into it on the field and in the dugout and living the dream. Every time something gets going – MM or Espi are right in the middle of it. If they are doing their homework,opposing pitchers should be very afraid of both of them instead of Werth and Stairs.

  46. HHover - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    On another front – Joel Sherman of the NYPost reported today that the Nats are willing to deal Clippard, but are focusing on a CF'er like BJ Upton.I'm not that enamored of Upton in the first place, and esp. not when he'll come with a big price tag in arbitration next year and will be a free agent in 2013.

  47. Section 222 - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    I've never understood the idea of moving Desmond to CF. He's a poor hitter at SS, he'd be even worse for the team in CF. I'm fine with giving him the rest of this year to work things out, but would really like to see an upgrade next year. How about this for a Nats infield in 2012 and beyond: Zim, Reyes, Espi, Pujols or Fielder. Come on Uncle Teddy, open that billionaire's checkbook!

  48. JaneB - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    HHover is right on. And so was the person waaaay back at the top who said this is the fun part. Do we always have ton take every opportunity to whine about something?Sec3 you cracked me up.I think Desi to Espi to Morse (to paraphrase 1a from last year) is something I don't want to lose. And I hope Bochy picks at least two of our guys,

  49. Wally - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Wow, lot's o' stuff here.Espy – well, I was one of those concerned in the offseason about him. Not down on him, but worried that he wasn't ready, had the hamate injury and concerned over no back up plan. Thrilled to be wrong there.Desi – horrible offense in the first half, but he was pretty bad last year and came on strong in the 2d half. Not sure why some players are like that, but don't we at least want to see if he falls into that pattern again? Plus, let me try a little deductive reasoning from the ol' Philosophy and Logic 101 class: (a) Rizzo and DJ are (very?) good talent evaluators; (b) Rizzo and DJ are very high on Desi, so (c) shouldn't we defer to their opinions on Desi (for now, at least)?Antonelli/Lombo – I don't really see any of the MI's making a move to a full time CF. I mean, it is a pretty hard position (4th toughest, I think) and you would think that if it is that easy to move a MI there, it would happen a lot more. But I am a fan of trying to turn a guy like Anontelli, who is athletic, just ok (not great) at defense, some pop in his bat and a little bit past prospect age, into a Zobrist kind of guy (or Hairston, for that matter). Lillibridge is heading that way too. He could add real value that way, and I would certainly try him in the OF before DH at Syracuse.Werth – kind of wish everyone could give Werth a break for a bit. Obviously not playing up to the contract, but it is in our interest for him to play well, and some support might help Shaggy relax a little. Don't worry, we have a long time left to turn against him, everyone will get their chance.My all star (if we only get one, which might be low) is still JZimm. Danny is having a great year, but I would put him on the team as our second choice.

  50. JD - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Just for the record. Espinosa is a better short stop than 2nd baseman and a better short stop than Desmond. I don't understand how moving him back to a position he played all his life is problematic and needs to wait until the off season. Also; all the Desmond supporters talk about last year as if it was all star level; if we are talking about making a comeback to mediocrity I'm not sure about the upside. The reason you can't compare Desmond to others having bad years (Werth) is that he has no history to suggest he can do better while Werth does. I agree with the point on Nix suggesting that he is regressing to what should have been expected in the 1st place; this is not an injury it's regression to the mean. This idea of moving infielders to the outfield is really asinine. Being a good hitter at a traditionally light hitting position gives you an edge which you lose by moving to a traditionally strong hitting position.

  51. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    MLBTV crawl — Danny Espinosa's 15 HR before the all star break – the most by a rookie second baseman in BASEBALL HISTORY! Not this season, not in a long time , but EVER. Where can I find out the split of righty and lefty for his hr's? I am pretty sure he has hit them from both sides.

  52. Wally - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    Anon@3:48Fangraphs can give you the answer, which is 11 (in 202 ABs) LH, 4 (in 72 ABs)RH.

  53. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    I would lay off Werth if he would correct the problem and start mistakes. However he id doing thee same thing for 3 months now. I can guarantee you if we were as unproductive at our jobs as he has been with his we would see few paychecks in the future. We want his to succeed, but 1/14 of the contract time is up and nothing has changed. I for one think his eyesight needs correcting. At least check it out an eliminate it as an issue. (Of course he might have done that I don't really know).

  54. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    "MLBTV crawl — Danny Espinosa's 15 HR before the all star break – the most by a rookie second baseman in BASEBALL HISTORY! Not this season, not in a long time , but EVER."No, only since 1933. There was no All Star Game before then.

  55. Manassas Nats Fan - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    I would lay off Werth if he would correct the problem and start making different mistakes. However he is doing thee same thing for 3 months now. I can guarantee you if we were as unproductive at our jobs as he has been with his we would see few paychecks in the future. We want his to succeed, but 1/14 of the contract time is up and nothing has changed. I for one think his eyesight needs correcting. At least check it out an eliminate it as an issue. (Of course he might have done that I don't really know). This is a duplicate above as I left an important word out and I didn't know how to edit once I posted. there must be a way.BTW: My word I had to type to post last time was REALESPI Just for the record I have having to do that.

  56. DFL - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    JD is right. You don't move a middle infielder to center-field unless he can steal sixty bases, have an On Base Percentage over .350, and play a Willie Wilson-like center-field. Desmond nor Lombardozzi are threatening that mythical center-fielder.You may have a decision to make this winter. Do you trade Desmond, move Espinosa to shortstop and make Lombardozzi your second baseman? Or do you make Lombardozzi your utilityman for a year and put off the decision? And what can you get for Desmond if he ends the season in the .230s with 35 steals in 2011?With Kelso and Martinson making great strides at Hagerstwon and Rendon signed, the Nats may have several hard decisions to make over the next few years with regards to their infield. That's a good thing. That's how champions are created.

  57. baseballswami - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Everyone keeps saying that Danny Espinosa is really better at shortstop, but we don't really know that because he has not played ss at this level. He is killing it at second base! Zim used to be a ss, Morse, Evan Longoria – no one seems to want them to move back. If he truly would be better at ss than second, I can't even believe how good he would be. I think his situation is kind of like Morse – once he got where he is playing now, he found a home.I've never heard him say in an interview that he would like to move back, either. Everyone talks about the shortstop position as being so elite, but a good second baseman is critical in the infield, especially turning dp's. I just would not want to rock the boat. Actually, he is more like a luxury speed-boat! Go Danny and GYFNG!

  58. Section 222 - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    If I'm not mistaken, Espi played SS, and played it well, in Harrisburg, and perhaps in Syracuse as well until just a month before his September call up when he was moved to 2B to get ready for the bigs. He was moved not because of any shortcoming in his play at SS, but because they knew Desi had that position and wanted to find him a place in the lineup. I think he'd be fine if they moved him back. Whether to do that depends not on his abilities but on whether Lombardozzi or whoever they want to put at 2B is bettr than Desi is at SS.

  59. Nats Outsider - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    If Espinosa's 15 HR's by the All Star break is the most ever for a second basemaan, how many did Davey Johnson have at the break? I seem to recall that he had something like 42 or 43 HR's in a single season. If he had 43 for the year, he must have gotten plenty of them in the first half.

  60. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    We made something out of "hack the gorse," Unk, but not sure we can do anything with that one! :-)Unkyd said… ?!?!?! "prolly leather all theo IRS" Wow…. Learned all the minors have to teach him I couldn't read that one, myself! June 28, 2011 3:11 PM

  61. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Outsider…. Most home runs by a ROOKIE second baseman. Key word being ROOKIE!dj in FL…. thanks for the Tune Inn article. I've already forwarded it to my Florida TI afficionados. We were all worried about James but the article makes it sound like he's the defacto night watchman for the place.

  62. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Allow me: "Desi's done his time, and prolly leather All-Theo; IRS have to teach him."Desmond has labored patiently and obediently, and it is most likely his defense would be top-notch, in a church league; only the IRS lets less slip through its fingers.

  63. Anonymous - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    Man, nobody clears out a room like the Sofa…

  64. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Nice, sec3! My initial inclination had been towards some sort of Van Gogh reference but I couldn't get any sort of creative rally going (must be the heat).In other news, was watching some of the SFO-Cubs game and they mentioned something about former Nat Marlon Byrd playing for the Iowa (AAA) affiliate. Just did a bit of Googling and learned that he'd been beaned by a pitch in May, with a concussion and multiple facial fractures. Yikes. I always liked Marlon and hope he'll have a full recovery.http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/05/22/marlon-byrd-goes-on-dl-with-multiple-facial-fractures/

  65. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    Oh, he's in Iowa on a rehab assignment.

  66. Unkyd - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    hehehe….. I do this all on iPhone, and if I'm posting during the day, and it's not lunchtime, I'm sneaking it in, while I'm supposed to be working….Always glad to amuse…. even if it's just with my thumbs! ;-)

  67. Nats1924 - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    You think any chance we trade Desmond and Detwiler for BJ Upton? …then move Espinosa to SS and call up Lombardozzi to play 2b?…dont get me wrong. I love Desi and would hate to see him go

  68. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Figured it was that new-fangled technology, Unk. Luckily, my phone is not nearly smart enough to try such shenanigans on me, and the spellchecker keeps my computer in check for the most part. ;-)

  69. sjm308 - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    lots of comments, lots of thoughts about the future and I hope you realize that the players really don't read this stuff. I am absolutely fine with what we have at 2nd and SS right now! They turn a nice Double play, they are young and they hustle. I realize we have people coming on in the minors but I want to enjoy what we have right now. I think Davey will help both middle infielders with his positive attitude (wish more NI posters could be coached by Davey). Can only hope Werth will benefit as well because he is not going anywhere. Would love to see us win this game so that a 3-3 record would be guaranteed. We honestly have to start hitting soon! I can feel it.When I coached I had many many credos, statements, whathave you – two of my favorites were:Nothing great is ever achieved without enthusiasm (which is why Rigglemans demeanor in the dugout killed me and I love Morse)PMA – positive mental AttitudeGo Nats

  70. Drew8 - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    Rigg's constant frown was a kick in the Go Nats.

  71. SonnyG10 - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Rizzo, DJ, and the rest of the fo will evaluate and make their best decision for the club. I am prepared to be initially disappointed if they don't chose my favorite, but I will go with their decision. That being said, I believe the best interest of the Nats is served by having Espinosa at second base and Desmond at short stop. Espi might be a better short stop than Desi, but he is definitely better at second than Desi. Espi's footwork on the double plays are amazing, like he's done it all his life. Plus his stronger arm makes him more preferable than Lombardozzi at second base. The strong arm of Espi is great for turning double plays on slower ground balls, and also for making the relay throw from the right fielder to home plate. Espi has already saved us a game this year on his strong relay throw. Bottom line is I like things as they are until better options come along.

  72. HHover - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    JDDesmond's #s last year obviously weren't All Star caliber, but if he reproduced them this year, he'd be middle of the pack for NL shortstops. That's not great, but it's good enough, which is about the ceiling of my hopes for him–good enough to be a regular starter in the majors.

  73. Unkyd - Jun 28, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    1A… It's the spell check that makes the really weird stuff happen!Upton doesn't seem to be anything more than a placeholder for this club. We already have Upton…without the attitude. They call him the Shark!

  74. natsfan1a - Jun 28, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Unk, not autocomplete? I used to get really weird stuff when I texted until I turned that function off.

  75. Sam - Jun 29, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Ian Desmond reminds me of Adam Everett; and Adam Everett was DFAed last week. In the Minor Leagues, Desmond had decent walk rates and decent power for a short stop, but he struck out like crazy. One of those things has translated to the Major Leagues (i.e. the strike outs). His awful bad wouldn't be such a bad thing if he fielded like Omar Vizquel. Even Vizquel started hitting around age 30. And it would be even less bad if we had a lineup that consisted of Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, Roberto Alomar, Jim Thome, Travis Fryman, etc. Except, we don't. That isn't Desmond's fault, but it makes every little bit of offense that much more important. In the end, it doesn't really matter where the offense comes from as long as it comes from somewhere. In general, positions like LF, RF, 3B, and 1B have been the key offensive positions. So far this season, Werth has been terrible. 3B was a disaster (and still is, hopefully not for long). Nix has been above average and fading. In summary, I would have no problem with Desmond batting 8th or 9th in a good lineup in the National League.P.S. Lots of ifs here…IF Rendon signs…IF Rendon can handle 2B…IF Rendon can hit in the Major Leagues…etc…then there is no place for Desmond. Not CF. Upton moved to CF because he couldn't play SS or 2B passably but could hit pretty well and for no other reasons.

  76. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    Whoa there everyone. Espinosa is hot; lets wait until september 30 to surmise his place in the baseball cosmos.Still, until Weeks and Cano retire, Espinosa can only hope to be a distant third.

  77. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    And Desmond ….Can't play short, can't play second … can't hit anything other than a bp fastball … makes absolutely stupid field decisions … Didnt he begin learning as a Pee Wee??Nope: Desmond has little future in D.C. Except him gone … somewhere .. by spring training.

  78. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Hey Everyone: I just came back from a trip one month into the future. It was very interesting.Aside from copying down all the winning lottery numbers for the month, I picked up a Post sports page and what do you think I see?I saw the Nationals going 10-20 for the month under Davey — Werth was down to .190 And Zimmerman was being sent to a shrink to find out if he has Mackey Sasser disease or not. Espinosa has 21 dingers as did Morse. Bernadina was out for the season again — yep, broke his foot again!!! David looks a 100 years old now.But the best part: over in Southeast, a billboard was going up. A picture of Riggs with the inscription: Do You Miss Me Yet? (paid for by only friend of Riggleman).

Archives

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Brent Harris every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.

Follow us on Twitter