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How serious is Espinosa’s injury?

Sep 17, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Danny Espinosa is getting an MRI on his ailing left shoulder this afternoon.

ATLANTA — It's unclear just how long Danny Espinosa has been dealing with pain in his left shoulder, or what effect it's had on his performance.

But this much is certain: Something about Espinosa wasn't right over the weekend, and now there's a chance something is seriously wrong with the shoulder.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said the second baseman finally informed coaches of the problem late during last night's 5-1 loss to the Braves, essentially asking out before his final at-bat in the top of the ninth. Thus ended a brutal series for Espinosa, one in which he went 0-for-11 with nine strikeouts and a groundball double play.

Espinosa had been swinging a red-hot bat for a while. Over a 21-game stretch from Aug. 13-Sept. 5, he hit .333 with five homers, 11 RBI and a .947 OPS. But he's now 4 for his last 34, with only two RBI and 16Read more »

153 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. nats311 - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    The Nats can absolutely absorb the loss of Espinosa. Lombo can slide in the leadoff spot and they can move Werth back down to a more traditional spot. He has been a great leadoff hitter, but I have felt that the Nats were giving up a little bit by having him hit leadoff rather than in the 5 spot. He was clearly their best option as Desmond and Espinosa just aren't leadoff guys.

  2. SCNatsFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Obviously I hope its just a strain for Danny and he's back and healthy soon, but realistically if there was one position we had to lose our starter it would be 2B. Still, when Danny is playing like he can we are a better team; lets all hope for good news this afternoon.

  3. NatsLady - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Yes, the Nats can absorb the loss of Danny for a short time, let's say two weeks. As with Desi, there is depth on the bench–thank goodness. However, Desi IMO is still being carefull with that hammy, don't forget. For the playoffs you want a healthy Espinosa, a healthy Desmond, and Lombo on the bench. Davey needs to play .500 ball for the next 16 games. At the same time he needs to get people healed and decide about Burnett vs. Garcia. There is no way Davey isn't playing for the Division, that's ludicrous! Gio is great, but you can lose one game to any team putting out their Ace.Where we are strong is that our No. 2, 3, and 4 are excellent (and yes, I'm including EJax). So you need to play a series, even if it starts with two away games.

  4. NatsLady - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    The problem (short-term) is that Moore did not shine in LF. Without Morse, and with Lombo at 2B, do you start Bernadina there? I certainly don't want to see DeRosa in the outfield, except for late-inning relief. Lombo isn't great in LF, but he's learned the position and he gets excellent jumps. It's aggravating (to me) that Morse is turning out to be "fragile" and some of it appears to be self-inflicted.

  5. rabbit34 - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Ah, I think Espinosa is way over-rated.

  6. SCNatsFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    NatsLady what did Morse do to self inflict this latest injury? I hadn't heard.

  7. MurrayTheRed - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Maybe he needs one of those magic shots like Ryan got earlier in the season.

  8. JaneB - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    I'm glad we have someone as good as Lombo to back up Danny. Certainly, things don't sound good. As we saw with ALR last year, trying to play through a torn labrum nets good results only for the other team. I'd rather lose Danny altogether for the rest of the run this year than have us see what we saw from Adam last spring. That said, DeRosa is Lombo's only back up, is that right? Who else so we have in the middle infield who could cover us, in case Desi, too, goes down? And is Perez's defense so poor that we can't trot him out to the outfield if we needed him there?Looking forward to the updates to this.

  9. SCNatsFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    But, before we go all ALR on Danny, it might just be a strain; without a history of shoulder injuries he can't differentiate between injuries.

  10. JaneB - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    OOOOOH, Murray, wouldn't that be GRAND if that helped? I didn't think about that as a possibility. Maybe it's more like a Zimm injury than an ALR injury. Breathing more deeply now…

  11. SonnyG10 - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Oy, yet more adversity to plod through. Com'on baseball gods, we have already had more than our share this year.Danny, hope you're not seriously injured. Please get well soon.

  12. whatsanattau - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Regarding Espinosa vs. Lombo, much of what you lose in power potential and range, you gain in consistency and control. Of all the 8 starters, the one the team is best able to absorb the loss of may be Espinosa. DeRosa might not make the postseason roster if Espinosa is healthy, but he almost certainly makes it while this concern exists. Espinosa as he performed this weekend is not helpful. If we could have August Espinosa it would be huge, but what if we get Atlanta Espinosa?

  13. bowdenball - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Who provides middle infield depth if Espinosa is out more than a couple of days? DeRosa doesn't seem like an ideal choice,especially if God forbid we're talking about the rest of the season and we need a little more roster flexibility. Zach Walters?

  14. Doc - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    "Self-inflicted" NatsLady?? I'm not sure that that is the best way of describing how The Beast over-compensated on his left hand, for the thumb injury to his right, when he was hit by a pitch back in August. Do you suppose that he had the offending pitcher purposefully bounce one off his thumb, thus "self-inflicting" him with an injury?Calling Dr. Freud! Calling Dr. Freud! Please pick up the emergency phone.

  15. pdowdy83 - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Natslady, why is it a decision between Burnett and Garcia? That is short sighted. The team will be able to carry an extra reliever due to not carrying 5 starters in the post season. There for you have a bullpen of Gorzelany, Garcia, Stammen, Matheus, Gonzalez, Burnett, Clippard and Storen. In all honesty I don't know if Davey will even include Gorzelanny in the mix either. That would leave him the option to carry an extra bench player for more flexibility.

  16. NatsLady - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    "self-inflicted" is maybe a little strong, sorry. This is what Mark's article said,Morse was diagnosed with a torn sheath and bone bruise, an injury he believes he initially sustained last month while compensating for a problem with his right thumb.Because he played with it as long as he did, Morse is tempted to try to get back in the lineup as soon as possible. At the same time, he doesn't want to risk further injury that could affect his ability to play during the season's final weeks and beyond."Do I wait, trying to get it better? Or do I play?" he said. "It's kind of a balance."Davey had some other comments about how Morse's hands affect each other, I don't have time to look for them right now. It just shows you how a player's whole body (hands, torso, legs, shoulder, etc.) are involved in batting and any injury can impact his production…

  17. pdowdy83 - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Bowdenball, I would think it would be Carlos Rivero over Walters. He had a very solid season in AAA and has experience at multiple positions. I could be wrong but Rivero is a bit more polished and on the 40 man roster.

  18. Will - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Carlos Rivero is already on the 40 man roster and was a SS for his entire career until last year. He can cover SS in a pinch. I'm assuming DeRosa would be the go-to guy if a backup 2B was needed, since he played parts of 12 seasons there. Not ideal, but there are certainly options.

  19. NatsLady - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    SCNats, agreed. We forget this sometimes. But, before we go all ALR on Danny, it might just be a strain; without a history of shoulder injuries he can't differentiate between injuries.

  20. bowdenball - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    pdowdy83-I agree with you, room for both Garcia and Burnett once they jettison the fifth starter. I think they keep Gorzelanny or replace him with Lannan, though. You need someone who can eat innings. Let's say they're up 2-0 in the NLDS or the series is tied 1-1 and Jackson get shelled early in Game 3 or gets hurt or something. You need someone to eat 3-4 innings so you have all the quality bullpen arms rested and available for the next two nights.

  21. pdowdy83 - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Bowdenball,I agree on needing someone to eat innings but I guess I was assuming that would fall on Stammen in the playoffs. Either way, there is room for enough relievers. I think I take Gorzelanny over Lannan for his potential to K hitters.

  22. NatsLady - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    I guess every fan has a player that frustrates them; for some people it's Danny Espinosa, for others it's Sean Burnett. For me, it's Morse. It seems like his fielding has improved, he's putting in the effort, and then this happens with his hand, and, if I understand Davey, we don't know how long he'll be out. He could be back tomorrow–or not. It was SO fun for that day and a half when we had every regular (except Ramos) in the line-up.

  23. rogieshan - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    In retrospect, it might have been wise to keep Cesar Izturis around. We lose the power threat without Espinosa, but I like the small-ball dimension that Lombardozzi brings to the lineup and I truly believe he will play a pivotal role in the playoffs.As for Morse, I'm a big fan, but "fragile" is not too strong a word to describe him, NatsLady. He's not Nick-Johnson-like-fragile, but Seattle gave up on him for the very same reason.

  24. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    DeRosa? Both Rendon and Walters might be next. It seems crazy on the surface but this team is already the youngest going to the playoffs. So, its going to be a learning experience all the way around. And Davey seems comfortable with that and considers it a major part of his role as manager. Rendon has a bat … Walter's is starting to develop.

  25. NatsLady - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    I voted for keeping Izturis at the time, but Davey didn't, and for some reason, his vote counts more than mine. As far as I know, he hasn't signed, so I guess in an emergency you could grab him for a couple of weeks, but that doesn't help for the playoffs, since he wasn't here Sept 1.

  26. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    I guess every fan has a player that frustrates them; for some people it's Danny Espinosa, for others it's Sean Burnett. For me, it's Morse.If you try to be objective about it Natslady you'll see that over the last 3 years Zimmerman HAS BEEN MORE injury prone. In spades! And that for the FO has to be the biggest concern. LaRoche more of an injury concern than Morse. Werth? I'd say he and Morse were about equal. Note that these are some of the older players with Werth, LaRoche, and Morse now over 30.

  27. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    I voted for keeping Izturis at the time, but Davey didn't, and for some reason, his vote counts more than mine.Iszturis refused to go to AAA to wait for a call up. It was mutual.

  28. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Yes, Will, there is still Rivero but since he wasn't invited to go to the AFL he looks like a free agent after the world series. Perhaps it is Rivero? DeRosa is an injury waiting to happen. The MOST INJURY prone is DeRosa at 37 years old. More than Morse, LaRoche, Werth, and Zimmerman combined. Davey is often afraid to play him because he might get injured.

  29. whatsanattau - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    It's not Walters. It's not Rendon. It's DeRosa. He's a team leader. With a 13 position players the bench would be Moore, DeRosa, Tracy Flores, and Bernadina. If Espinosa is able to play – one of those players comes off the list – probably DeRosa. But there is no room for Rendon or Walters or anyone else. The Nats will not go into the playoffs with less than 12 pitchers. And as for those pitchers – Burnett if healthy makes the roster so the choice is Lannan or Garcia. I think they go with Lannan. Garcia's only chance is if someone else comes up lame….

  30. bowdenball - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    pdowdy83-Yeah I was also thinking about Stammen for the innings role. I guess they could spare him with Garcia on board as another late game option. Originally I thought he was too good for the role, but the bullpen's depth from the right side is impressive. And Stammen isn't too far removed from being a starter.

  31. whatsanattau - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    BTW, I believe they can change the roster between series (Divisional, Championship, & World). So they could leave Lannan/Espinosa off the Divisional and add them back for the Championship and/or World. Pretty sure I am right about that, but …

  32. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Hmmm, Boz thinks the O's will replace Reynolds with LaRoche next season.

  33. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    you are right, whatsanattau.

  34. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    It's not Walters. It's not Rendon. It's DeRosa. He's a team leader.Again, an injury waiting to happen. He is worse than Nick Johnson fragile. Far worse. You absolutely cannot rely on him as a back up anything. You see it when he plays the outfield and can barely run. Must make Natslady cringe. DeRosa may be a leader but he's a pinch hitter just like Matt Stairs and that's really all he is. If you need someone to come in an play in the field you need to go elsewhere.

  35. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Oh not another BLOGGAH? Positive Mental Natitude? And he's already on the left gutter of this blog?

  36. bowdenball - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said…"you are right, whatsanattau."Right that they'll go into the playoffs with DeRosa as the only backup middle infielder if Espi isn't healthy? Or right about them choosing Lannan over Garcia?I think he's wrong about both, but I'm just trying to clarify.

  37. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    The way Burnett has been pitching? Garcia is a lock to make the playoff roster which means that Jeff Mandel may be headed for the AFL.

  38. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    FWIW, I think Lombo is more productive in the lineup than Danny. Even before he got hurt, Danny was a K machine. Lombo is much more of a contact guy and can hit leadoff, with Werth, basically, taking Danny's spot in the middle of the order. Lombo has shown he can handle lead-off and Werth is much better than Danny coming up with RISP, IMO. At least Werth will put the ball in play.Danny's got plenty of power, but his numbers are down from last year. If you can't make contact with the ball, it ain't goin' nowhere. They are better off with both Lombo and Werth in the lineup. Backup is the problem, especially with Desi kind of nursing that hamstring.And i agree with those who have noticed how often Morse gets hurt. His big, gangly frame has got to have all systems synchronized in order for his swing to work. Every time he comes back from an injury it seems like he takes a full month before he can even pull the ball. He has a body that is just waiting to have a nut, or a bolt, fall off somewhere, and then everything goes haywire until someone puts him back together, again. And it's not as if he has some nagging, recurring injury. Shoulder, back, wrist, foot – you never know what it's likely to be.Morse needs to heal as soon as possible before he loses his timing and rhythm, and has to rediscover his swing, as he normally has to do with a long layoff. He cannot be tweaking his swing in the post-season.

  39. John C. - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    Today's dose of perspective:Entering play one week ago, the Nationals were 86-54, the Braves were 81-60, 5.5 games behind the Nationals with either 22 (Nationals) or 21 (Braves) games to play.Entering play today, the Nationals are 89-57, the Braves are 84-63. The Braves are still 5.5 games behind with only 16 (Nationals) or 15 (Braves) games to play. The Nationals actually held serve, which means that their chance to win the NL East has actually improved over the last week. The only thing the Braves sweep did for them was to make up for their getting swept by the Brewers.Of course you keep pushing, keep playing until you clinch the Division and take a shot at the #1 seed. But Davey is absolutely right when he says that he likes where the team is at.

  40. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    whatsanattau said… BTW, I believe they can change the roster between series (Divisional, Championship, & World). So they could leave Lannan/Espinosa off the Divisional and add them back for the Championship and/or World. Pretty sure I am right about that, but … Yes, and one further point. They can change during a series to replace an injured player, but it must be "like for like"–a pitcher, or a position player, same as the injured player, and the injured player has to sit out that series AND the next one.

  41. Section 3, My Hitterish Sofa - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Bowdenball, I think FS meant Whatssanattau was right about the roster rules.

  42. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    "The way Burnett has been pitching? Garcia is a lock to make the playoff roster…"I suspect you are right. That would leave 2 openings for pitchers on the Nats' AFL roster, one of which has been there from the beginning. Maybe they are waiting to see if they can bring Purke out of hibernation, finally, and get him some reps in the AFL. Just a guess, but they should have named someone, by now, unless they are keeping a spot open for Purke.Whatever the reason, Burnett has not performed the last 5 times he has been given the ball, and Garcia has. I thought we might be seeing more of Zach Duke, under the circumstances.

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Danny is an elite baseball player on defense and looked to be poised in July to prove to most of us that he was on his way to being the best 2nd baseman in the NLDanny wanted us to know he hit left-handed better given his hamate bone recovery then he had the mysterious batter's eye issue near the end of ST to explain his exorbitant K rate.Now he says he has a sore shoulder. What to make of that. Lombo will get another chance and may Davey do what's best for the Team.

  44. SCNatsFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Yeah I thought based on the way Duke threw the ball this year he'd be getting more of a look right now

  45. SCNatsFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Ghost of Steve M you cannot blame his K rate on any of that; it has been that high since he started in the minors with this team. His K rate this year is not appreciably higher this year then his first two here (26.8 % in 2010, 25.2 in 2011 and 28.9 this year). Unless he has had issue after issue since he arrived I think it is safe to say there is no simple fix to his striking out.

  46. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Right you are, Sec 3.

  47. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Danny wanted us to know he hit left-handed better given his hamate bone recovery then he had the mysterious batter's eye issue near the end of ST to explain his exorbitant K rate.Seems like everyone was saying the same thing about Ian Desmond … and worse …. in his sophomore year …What do you think of him now?Espinosa is way too good an athlete … he'll adjust just like Desmond did. I'm not worried about him. AND NO Laddie … Lombo is not even in the same galaxy with Espinosa. Espinosa has the ceiling of a superstar, a potential hall of famer. Because of his athleticism, his defense, and his potential on offense. Lombo is a good player … very gritty but he doesn't have that ceiling. Its a night-and-day difference …

  48. SCNatsFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Peric what evidence do you have to support that other then hope? Do you see Danny making any progress at the plate? And to say Espinosa is a potential hall of famer is ridiculous. Potential is just another word for a player who is playing beneath his talent; he has a bigger chance being in the minors next year then being in the hall of fame. Prove me wrong Danny and I'll happily eat crow. Happily. And this is from a guy who stuck behind Desmond despite all his problems so its not like I believe young players on't have the potential to improve.

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    SCNatsfan, those are Danny's excuses not mine for him. He said in an interview that he always hit better lefthanded. OK, let's see it.

  50. SCNatsFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. SCNatsFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Personally I don't care who is at 2B, I just want the Nats to win. A sweep by those tomahawk chopping slack jaw yokels (I live in the South I can make fun of them) puts me in a bad mood.

  52. rabbit34 - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Nats and Phils fight it out for the wild-card. Just saying.(an expression used here a lot)

  53. Gonat - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Davey worked hard with Danny and he was on the right track in July. His numbers were great. Then slowly he started to revert back to the long looping swing.To me, its a benchable type of issue but when Desi got injured Davey had to stick with Espi.Now Davey can do something and it looks like he did.

  54. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Prove me wrong Danny and I'll happily eat crow. Happily.OK, let's see it.Again, the same was said about Ian Desmond. Or should I dredge up and produce old posts from this blog as evidence?Espinosa may have the highest ceiling of any players on this club. Bar none. And there's no one in the minors who can do the things he is capable of. He's still young, the jury is still out. But we do know he is a fierce competitor who plays the game hard. He is the best athlete on the team and a perfectionist … which IMO, is why he is having issues with his offense. He's stubborn about his approach. That will mellow as he realizes that his approach may need adjustment.. He'll mellow. I'm not worried.

  55. Gonat - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120916&content_id=38541298&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlbGet the vote out for Bryce Harper in the MLB Poll for Rookie of the Year.

  56. baseballswami - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    There is not one team in baseball right now that isn't dealing with injuries, exhaustion, slumps or streakiness. Some of those wins earlier in the season that seemed like gifts from the baseball gods are now in the bank for a rainy day. This weekend was a rainy day. I am also concerned about how the nats played against philly and miami, then atlanta. I don't like the downward trending momentum. We can't just dominate teams like the mets and the cubs. Now we wait while it plays itself out. They will either do it, or they won't do it. All we can do is watch and cheer. I think we can absorb some 2B downtime better than most teams in mlb. Lombo brings a lot to the table.

  57. Section 222 - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Espinosa may have the highest ceiling of any players on this club. Bar none.Hahaha. Ok, so you love Espi and think he's headed to Cooperstown. Fine, good for you. But highest ceiling of anyone on the club? Really? Higher than Harper? Higher than Strasburg? Zimmermann? Your usual favorite, Rendon? Please.I'll grant you he has a higher ceiling than Lombo. Maybe even Desi because of his glove. That's about it.

  58. baseballswami - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    I have never understood the under-valuing of Lombo. That guy has been so good for us this year. He is fifteenth in mlb in making contact! Just a good all around player with great baseball iq. He has good speed, can lead off, can come off the bench cold and get a hit, is very smart and stays within himself at all times. Just don't get it.

  59. feelanau - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    rabbit34 failed miserably at math. It is impossible for Nats and Phils to "fight it out" for wild-card. Even if Phils went 15-0 in their remaining 15 games, and the Nats went 0-16 in their remaining 16 games, Nats still finish 89-73 v. Phils' 88-74. And John C is absolutely correct. Time is the Braves biggest enemy. A week passed and we're still 5.5 up. They gained no ground but "lost" six games in which to do it.

  60. JamesFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    I have no problem with Lombo replacing Danny. Lonbo is more consistent, makes contact, hustles, plays smart, and frankly, I think he's very close to Danny on defense. Somehow he adds energy to the team. Let's see what we've got.

  61. Gonat - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Lombo doesn't have Danny's arm but neither do any other 2nd baseman. Lombo is a better 2nd baseman defensively than Uggla and many others. He can do it.

  62. SCNatsFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    I think part of the problem with Lombo has been watching him play the outfield and his poor route running and poor arm in left. I think he would be regarded higher had he only played the infield this year.

  63. Gonat - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    SCNatsFan, Lombo did a great job when Espi shifted over to SS when Desi was injured.

  64. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Hahaha. Ignorance is bliss for the mundane, bandwagon fan like section 222. Par for the course.Espinosa has a higher potential ceiling than any non-pitcher the Nats have right now. Because he is such a superior (and yes, arrogant) athlete he decided to attempt switch hitting. Only the best athletes typically succeed at this. To believe otherwise is to not know much about baseball.

  65. blovy8 - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Yeah, I think Lombo is fine, the issue is losing flexibility, but you know Davey will use DeRosa at second defensively if he needs a home run hitter in that spot in the late innings. Defensively, I think he's really only better at the turn at second, but Espy's arm is usually wasted at second anyway. The contact issue is important in the postseason games I think. Sure the lineup is full of power, but that comes with a ton of K's. You can't have a bunch of guys in a row striking out like the Nats can. That's just too easy for the opposition. Lombo is the kind of guy who could be a real PITA to get out and foul off a lot of good stuff when you need to at least bother an ace on the other side who's dealing.

  66. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  67. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    DeRosa is not rally a home run hitter anymore. But Rivero, Walters, and especially Rendon, do have power.

  68. blovy8 - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    DeRosa would be desperation defense, not the home run hitter I speak of, which would be Moore or Tracy in that spot as a late pinch hitter. Probably in a low-scoring home game in the ninth where you're behind and the starter has gone deep into it – then if extra innings happen, you'd have to use him. I seriously doubt DJ would throw a minor leaguer who hasn't played a ML inning out there in the postseason before his pal DeRosa.

  69. NatsJack in Florida - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Another less than truthful comment by our resident self annointed genius. Danny Espinosa's Dad intrduced him to switch hitting the day he put a bat in his hands. Arrogance had nothing to do with it.And, sure….Espinosa has a higher ceiling than Bryce Harper. …….Right.

  70. Pilchard - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Elijah Dukes was a great athlete, and how did that work out? Danny has had epic problems making contact throughout his professional career; don't see that ever changing. Agree that if no one else gets hurt the Nats will be fine with Lombo replacing Espinosa. That is a big "if" though. Still not convinced that Desmond is 100%, and if he goes down, even for a few days, the Nats are in a world of hurt. Sorry, but Lombo at SS and DeRosa at 2nd is not going to cut it. Izturis is still a free agent; so, would not be shocked to see the Nats sign him for the rest of the regular season.

  71. SCNatsFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Gonat, I agree with Lombo at 2B. I just thought his value was decreased because some of his play was in LF where, to me, he isn't very good.And I don't think you can argue Danny is arrogant because he is a switch hitter or visa versa. And a strong argument can be made to say he is arrogant because he remains a switch hitter when he is so weak from one side of the plate.Peric you are in Danny's corner and that's all right, but you lose points when you say he has Hall of Fame potential. So does HRod if he figures it out. So does any young player in the majors.

  72. Feel Wood - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Of course switch hitters are arrogant. Nook Logan was so arrogant he thought he could succeed by taking the placebo 'roids instead of the real ones. What was he doing? What was he thinking? Where was he going? Arrogance personified. Just like peric.

  73. Section 222 - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Mundane bandwagon fan? Surely you jest. Actually, I don't know about the mundane part. Maybe you're right about that. (Can a person be mundane?) But I bought my season tickets in December 2004 and have had them every season since. That's about as far from the bandwagon as you can get. Which is about the same distance from making sense as your revised claim that Espi (who I like a lot by the way, and still have high hopes for) has a higher ceiling than any "non-pitcher" on the club. To that I'll still just say: Hahaha. (ahem, Harper).

  74. natsfan1a - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Maybe as in "of the earth" as opposed to "of the heavens," because then you'd be rooting for the AL team in Anaheim. 0:-)

  75. ehay2k - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    This is a needed mental and physical break for Espi. I'm confident that he has the highest ceiling of any option at 2b that the Nats have right now, but I'll leave it at that. Pretty sure my talent evaluation skills are not as good as Davey's or Rizzo's. They are sticking with Espinosa for a reason. Or several. People really need to stop the snark aimed at other posters here.

  76. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Stanton is out for the Miami/Atlanta Series until at least Wednesday. GRRRRRRRRRR!

  77. natsfan1a - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Speaking only for myself, I was commenting on usage (mundane) rather than snarking about another poster.

  78. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    And if anyone complains about Bob/FP ever again.. I give you Hawk & Wimpy for the White Sox. Listening to Hawk on MLB Network, I just want to smash my ear drums. And Wimpy just enables him. (so does Steve Stone).

  79. rabbit34 - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Miami will blow their game with the Braves just to spite the Nats.

  80. Swift Eagle - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Nats just need to get everyone healthy and ready…The line-up is fine when it's complete, the sweeps at Phila and Atl happened when Morse was out…The team is 22-5 when Werth, Zimmerman, and Morse are in the starting line-up (not including the Phila game he was HBP in 1st inning)

  81. rogieshan - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    I think whether DeRosa can still hit is irrelevant here. As long as he is healthy, he will be the backup infielder and the first replacement for Espinosa on the playoff roster. If Davey thought so little of him, he would've been let go long before this latest round of injuries.

  82. rabbit34 - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Feel Wood…..someone like Peric can always fine something to justify their amature reasoning. There are a lot of wannabees, but of course I'm not one of them.

  83. JaneB - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    No! We need Stanton to be playing now! It figures he can find a way to hurt the Nats whether we are playing him or not!When do we get word on Danny? I thought maybe by now. Though imagine being a NAT and wondering when you hear.

  84. Faraz Shaikh - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    sad to hear about Stanton. Would have great to see him hit some longballs against ATL pitching.agree with ehay2k. people need to chill.

  85. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    YES MUNDANE, SILLY, and really well ignorant about baseball fan … to whit:Sorry but "them's" the facts.Courtesy of Kilgore:FanGraphs.com’s formula gives Espinosa credit for 3.7 wins above replacement, tied with Brandon Phillips for the National League lead among second basemen. The WAR stat shouldn’t be taken as definitive, but it is a strong sign that Espinosa has been one of the best at his position this year.Not only is Espinosa a top second baseman but he would be a top shortstop if he played that position. And, like Pete Rose he could conceivably play any position on the diamond at gold glove levels except for pitcher and catcher.

  86. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Feel Wood…..someone like Peric can always fine something to justify their amature reasoning. There are a lot of wannabees, but of course I'm not one of them.Silly Rabbit, baseball prognostication is for us not for silly Rabbit's like you.

  87. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    JaneB.. Amanda reported that they won't have results until tomorrow. I am not hopeful

  88. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Rabbit.. can you do a reverse lock on the Atlanta/Miami game. That would be great.On another injury note. Kershaw may be out for our series. Sounds like he needs hip surgery.

  89. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    but you lose points when you say he has Hall of Fame potential. So does HRod if he figures it out. So does any young player in the majors.Sorry but that IS NOT TRUE. Strasburg has HOF potential, perhaps Harper, but he will never be the fielder that Espinosa is. Espinosa is a good enough athlete to make himself into as good a hitter as anyone on the club (and just as clearly a few years older than BHarp). Rendon may be another … we'll have to see … And Espy is a switch hitter. If he figures that out … he's a better athlete than Cal Ripken every was. Let's put it that way.

  90. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    if Davey thought so little of him, he would've been let go long before this latest round of injuries.He has a role. But its definitely not as a backup infielder. Or outfielder. The spate of injuries he suffered convinced Davey of that. Its why they picked up Iszturis.

  91. Ghost Of Steve M. - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Speaking of Nook Logan, in the White Sox game Dewayne Wise with a Nook/Nyjer running play with bases loaded and one out Adam Dunn hit a fly ball to the warning track in LF. Wise decides to tag from 2nd and was tagged out before the runner on 3rd crossed the plate costing the Sox a run.

  92. JamesFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Both Lombo and Danny will have success as everyday ML players in their careers. I just do not believe that the Desi-track is necessarily the one Danny will follow. My guess is that he will always be a high strike out, low average hitter. He has huge holes in his swing. Day in and day out, I will not be surprised if Lombo becomes the better starting second baseman over the long haul. For sure, he will never be the HR threat that Danny will be, but he also won't be the 200 strikeout guy. If I was a team looking for a second baseman, I would be talking to the Nats about Lombo big time.

  93. Swift Eagle - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Most MLB teams have good fielding, contact hitting, middle infielders exactly like Lombo in their systems…Everyone is looking for an athletic power bat who also plays good defense like Danny, those guys are VERY rare…He'll probably always strike out a lot, be he has the much higher ceiling…

  94. SCNatsFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Just as I said Peric – if he figures it out. That is a mighty big if. Why hasn't he figured out in three years not to swong at every pitch like he wants to put it in the red porch? Is it not as obvious to him as it is to us he is not Adam Dunn?So I ask you peric, who has a better chance going to the HOF at this point, Harper or Espi?

  95. baseballswami - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    I think there is a lot to be said for the player that is just steady every day like Lombo. Danny just seems very inconsistent.Highs and lows. I love the kid, don't get me wrong. We are just fortunate to have a backup player like Lombo – yes, backup – with that kind of skills. When you are having a debate about whether or not the backup guy is better than the starter? That is depth. And I heard on mlb that they are quite worried about Kershaw's hip. He has been rusting, uh, I mean, resting on the bench. I really have developed a dislike for Hanley Ramirez – I don't care what anyone says, he just seems to be a head case. We need to keep him down. And now that the Atlanta series is over ( thankfully) I also have to say that I don't think Heyward has very good baseball smarts. He has talent, but I have seen him misplay and miscue way too many times.

  96. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Swami..Hanley = team cancer

  97. JaneB - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    You know how you feel when you get involved in a good, serialized TV show — MadMen or the Sopranos or Breaking Bad or whatever you like — and the last episodes are coming up and you want to KNOW WHAT THE HECK HAPPENS NEXT but it's Monday and the next episode isn't till Sunday?That's how I feel tonight.

  98. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Why do these guys wait until after they hurt the club offensively before they tell of injuries. That just seems to be selfish to me.

  99. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Peric sez: "Not only is Espinosa a top second baseman but he would be a top shortstop if he played that position. And, like Pete Rose he could conceivably play any position on the diamond at gold glove levels except for pitcher and catcher."No, he didn't just compare Espi to Pete Rose, did he? Seriously?And just think: Espi is only, oh, about 3,900 hits (and a few betting slips) shy of Pete's record.Listen, I like Espi. Cannon for an arm. Smart player. Got some power. Flawless defensively. But he strikes out about as often as I brush my teeth and now he's hurt to boot. The downshift to Lombo will be flawless, and actually might help. Obviously, Espi's 11 K's and one DP during the ATL series didn't help much.Pete Rose? Really?

  100. baseballswami - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    JaneB – I hear ya!! Good or bad, I just want to know. But I have decided that I am not going to spend the next two weeks cowering under my bed during games. Regular season or playoff -bound – baseball season is winding down. Last year game 162 and the post season were just outstanding. I thought it was all just great fun. Now I don't know how their fans lived through it.

  101. Whynat - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    i think we need a baseball game.who's playin tonight?

  102. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Someone must drinking Maloox straight up. Did I read that Epsinosa has a higher ceiling than Harper? Must be my eye sight bothering me.

  103. Gonat - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Swift Eagle said… Most MLB teams have good fielding, contact hitting, middle infielders exactly like Lombo in their systems…Everyone is looking for an athletic power bat who also plays good defense like Danny, those guys are VERY rare…He'll probably always strike out a lot, be he has the much higher ceiling… September 17, 2012 5:28 PM _______________________________________You mean everyone is looking for Robby Cano?Give me a high OBP guy who can create runs (RBIs & Runs Scored) who can defend the position.http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=2b&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2012&month=0&season1=2012&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=7,d

  104. PFB Balls of Fire - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    As one that enjoys the use of hyperbole as a form of discourse, I have to agree with Peric on this one: 1) Espi is a talented athlete, 2) anyone that is ready to give up on him needs to show a little restraint, 3) if I was a manager of major league club and could write myself into the lineup for 200 AB a year even though I had a -36 WAR until I was 112 years old, I think I could reach 4000 hits.

  105. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    I plan to rotate among all the games.

  106. Secret wasian man - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    lets go Marlins. That magic number needs to move.

  107. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Only a few games Mets vs. PPhillies to boo the Phillies, and Narlins and Braves to bitch about Stanton not playing. What is the story on Stanton this time? He has missed to much of the season. Not a good thing for someone as young as him.

  108. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Manassas.. The good news is Espi did it for a week and really it was only the Atlanta series that he was the obvious weak link (remember we swept the Mets).Look I am totally in the Tank for Espi, He is my absolute favorite. But comparing him to Cal or Pete Rose is JUST a BIT of a reach. Give him time. Let him develop. Let him be Espi and not someone else. He may turn out to be a 20+ Homer/.260ish Guy that strikes out a lot and has a GG at 2B. Dr Davey sounds like he is ready for another run for next year, so he can work on him some more. Like a nice Cabernet, Espi may take a few years to age and come to his full maturity. (See Desmond, Ian)As Far as Lombo goes. Great contact hitter, will be admirable for filling in for Espi (and Desi when Espi moved to SS). The only thing that I saw with my UNTRAINED eye is he lacks some range at 2B that Espi has. Not sure about his arm either, but that has more to do with his starts in LF. We are very fortunate that we have the depth on our bench right now. DeRo can still hit, we have seen it. He may not be able to run (since as soon as he hits 1B – davey sends in Eury or Roger to run for him). He will be fine as the bench guy IF he is needed and I am SURE Rizzo/Davey are combing the entire system and the waver wire for any help they can get. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they will have our best possible team ready for baseball after 10/3.On a happier note. Sounds like Davey and Werth are on board with bringing Adam back. Not sure what it will take or if Tyler is ready for full time 1B, but I like that Adam has the manager and teammates that like and support him. Kind of like Dunn- but Rizzo will know best (and no doubt that Davey will have some input)

  109. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    I am not giving up on Danny. I am giving up on the thought that he has a higher ceiling than Harper.

  110. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    I said it yesterday give LaRoche 3 years 38 mil 1 year mutual option.

  111. Feel Wood - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Espi could end up as a much better fielding, much less ugly version of Dan Uggla. And that would be fine. Not HoF, but fine nonetheless.

  112. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Manassas.. I am with you on the ceiling ;-)Drew/NatsJack (since I know you both have seen him live).. do you have any ideas on Tyler's ability at 1B. He has only a couple of starts there this year. When he was down in the minors or instucts did he seem to be improving?

  113. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    Ar 7 I will rotate between braves game and the Phils game occasional peak atRays game. 8 occasional peak at Cubs game.My late game Is vs Seattle and Gianr vs. Rockies. mostly watching Bumgarner pitch.

  114. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Free Game today on MLB.TV is Marlins/Braves.

  115. SCNatsFan - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Manassas I think you have to pick between Morse and Laroche… I don't think there will be room enough on the roster for both. Then you have to decide what to do with Moore, although you'd have to think he fits best as a DH. Either way at some point you have to think someone gets moved this offseason. Laroche may be a great fit but I don't think there will be room for him. Also I think 3/48 is too high, don't see him over 12M a year.

  116. rabbit34 - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    MicheleS…..you got it. It's in the bag!! Posting here is soooo much FUN!!!!!

  117. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    I had 38 not 48. so I am alttle over 12 a year. MORSE. probably traded to AL for a number 2 or 3 starter.Moore will DH in AL series and be one of those sharing left field.

  118. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    I am rooting for the Mets tonight.

  119. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Chipper Jones 40 homers vs. Marlins in his career.

  120. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Dickey strikes out Rollins but catcher midses it and now on firsr.

  121. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Dickey throws pickoff ball into right

  122. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Also rooting for the Onion's brother to have a career night vs the Barves.

  123. mick - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    will game tomorrow be postponed and part of a double header on W or TH?

  124. mick - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Manassas Nats' Fan same here lol

  125. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    SAC fly Utley 1–0

  126. mick - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Tom Lavaro had some good comments on Nats today

  127. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Baves 1-0

  128. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Did we mention yesterday Phils eliminated from division?

  129. mick - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    I tell ya I had a rough day, I was walking home from work and some guy was running towards me naked, I said hey buddy, what for? He said because you came home early…. lol

  130. mick - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    I knew this was going be a bad Monday…. I went to button my shirt and the button fell off, I went to grab my brief case and the handle broke off… I'm afraid to go to the bathroom!

  131. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    First paragraph of the ESPN article from above:His is one of the great faces in baseball, as comfortable as a broken-in mitt. There are timelines on it dating back at least 50 years, crow's feet from 200,000 suns, wrinkles etched by the cost of victory and the acceptance of loss. The eyes belong to a 69-year-old maestro who has seen everything, but they twinkle like they did when he was a 19-year-old bonus baby seeing things for the first time. That flattened nose tells you he'll fight like hell, and the bright smile tells you he'll fight for you.

  132. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Who is pitching for Marlins? No one pitched that bad against us.

  133. mick - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Michele…. Thank you, I read this after Tom Lavaro mentioned this today…. Great piece, every NI fan should read this, wonderful!!!

  134. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    "Lombo is not even in the same galaxy with Espinosa. Espinosa has the ceiling of a superstar, a potential hall of famer."He's about a .250 hitter. That's a fact. Lombardozzi is hitting about 30 points higher, at around .280. That's a fact. Espinoza's HR number has gone down this year compared to last year, not up. That's a fact. Danny's approach at the plate has improved, but only enough to raise his BA about 15 points or so from from last year. That's a fact.Opposing pitchers walk the guy hitting ahead of Espinoza, no matter who it is, just to get to pitch to Danny, especially in crucial situations. That's a fact.No one walks Danny to get to the guy hitting behind him, unless it happens to be the pitcher. That's a fact.You, Ghost, and anyone else are certainly entitled to your opinion. I like to look at the facts. Gee, Adam Dunn hits a lot of HRs, even more than Espinoza. If he could just cut down on his Ks he could be a HOFer, too, and he has the potential to break the HR record if he could just hit the ball more often.If.

  135. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Manassas.. LeBlanc in for the fish

  136. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Manassas I think you have to pick between Morse and Laroche… I don't think there will be room enough on the roster for both. Then you have to decide what to do with Moore, although you'd have to think he fits best as a DHAgain, Rendon is too close. He had just started to heat up in AA he had 4 homers already. Remember, the minor league time in A+ and AA was his spring training.Morse, LaRoche, and Moore cannot even come close to fielding at the level that Rendon does. Sorry but Adam is really slow and doesn't have a lot of range. BUT, both Rendon and Zimmerman DO. Unfortunately, its Moore who may end up traded to the AL as his flexibility in the NL is severely limited. Morse still can play other positions. Not as well as some would like but good enough especially if his bat comes around. Having Morse on the bench makes for a pretty potent bench if and when Rendon arrives. None of you are looking at the big picture. They are not going to trade Anthony Rendon. If he is everything that he is billed to be he will be starting at third base possibly as soon as some point next year at the latest the following season. Signing LaRoche for more than 1 year hence, given his age, makes no sense for the Nats given that reality. It makes more sense for the O's who are strung together with bits and pieces from all over the world along with a decent core group of talent both from their minors and trades.Zimmerman is your everyday first baseman sooner or later. Get used to the idea.

  137. peric - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Gee, Adam Dunn hits a lot of HRs, even more than Espinoza. If he could just cut down on his Ks he could be a HOFer, too, and he has the potential to break the HR record if he could just hit the ball more often.One could say the same thing about Bryce Harper … his average has just now started to come up? What do you do with people who continue to look at moronic stats that were invented when Teddy Roosevelt decided not to kill a bear cub and so invented the "Teddy Bear"? *** OLD SCHOOL **** Harper is younger than Dunn. His ceiling says that eventually not only will he be a better hitter, perhaps even home run hitter, but he probably will be a better outfielder than Dunn. Yes, that's the position Dunn came up at. Outfield. Want to trade Harper for Dunn? Some here would be moronic enough to do it I'm sure. Espinosa is older but is in the exact same category. He is a top flight athlete who can play any position and has the potential to hit 30 homers, 30-40 doubles, 6-10 triples, AND steal 20+ bases. He actually looks better than Desmond did last year in his sophomore year.I hate to break it to you but everyone one of you who looks at Espy's batting average and declares Adam Dunn better look pretty foolish … seriously you need to start watching baseball and how its played not at box scores.

  138. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Balking Bob Davidson calls balk on Dickey. I could see nothing that looked like a balk.

  139. Laddie Blah Blah - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    "Because he is such a superior (and yes, arrogant) athlete he decided to attempt switch hitting. Only the best athletes typically succeed at this."You define success as hitting in the low .200s as a LH hitter? OK, OK, if he really, really tries, I concede he has the potential to be a .225 hitter from the left side. That is not the arrogance of a superior athlete, it is self-delusion."To believe otherwise is to not know much about baseball."To ignore the facts is to disconnect yourself from reality.Athleticism does not necessarily equate with baseball greatness because the attributes of a great hitter are not the same as the attributes of a great athlete. Pujols is not a great athlete, but he is a great hitter, and he really is a sure-fire HOFer. Espinoza is, IMO, a better natural athlete than Pujols. All other things, like age and salary, being equal, do you think the Angels would trade Albert straight up for Danny, based on Danny's superior athleticism and "potential," or do you think they would just keep the slow-footed Pujols around, instead, just because they feel sorry for him, or something?LOL.

  140. MicheleS - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    So now we are comparing Harper to Dunn. Wow this has gotten out of hand. Dunn hit's homers, which is why he is the perfect for DH.Harper. basically 1+ year in the OF and is becoming better each day with the reads to the ball. Harper won't ever be a liability like Dunn is in the Field. He will hit for Higher Avg, probably more HRs, can steal a bag and pressure the other teams defense. Not things that were ever said about Dunn

  141. DJB - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Espi is not going to be a star in this league. His plate approach is completely off, and he expands the strike zone. His OBP is poor. I don't know what some of you are smoking. You trade him, if you can. Harper has quick hands and can make contact without much effort. I've grown fond of Espi because of his effort, but his ceiling is low.

  142. Gonat - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    I wouldn't give up on Espi just yet. 3rd year may be the charm. We saw in April last year and July this year what he is capable of doing when he's seeing the ball well and hitting with confidence.

  143. JaneB - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Michelle, thanks for the alert and the link to the Davey piece. Nicely written and great stories. Look how great Desi turned out to be, and Davey knew it was coming. He believes in Espi, and that's all I need to know.

  144. SCNatsFan - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    peric you never answered me… more likely for the HOF, Espi or Harper?Only you belive some here would trade Dunn for Harper but use that as an argument if you will. JaneB, I agree… Davey and Rizzo (along with peric) see something amazing in Espi and I trust their judgement. They aren't infallible, however, as the HRod debacle as closer showed. I'm just hoping Espi converts the nonbelievers like myself. Nothing good comes out of him turning out as mediocre as I think he will be. Of course some think he'll hit like Ted Williams, field like Eddie Collins and run like Lou Brock. All while never cracking a smile lol.

  145. blovy8 - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    look, there's no reason to give up on Espy. The real argument is how good you think he'll be at his peak. Peric has put ridiculous expectations on the guy, and a useless comparsion to Desmond, when they're really not all that similar. Simply put, Espinosa can't strike out over 25 percent of the time and be a great player. If he does that, the best you can expect except in some fluky year where he gets lucky with homers or would be a slightly above-average player like he is now. He's had to hit .330 on balls in play just to get to .250 this year, and what's more disturbing is his obp is a little dependent on getting hit. That's a recipe to miss time with a hand or wrist injury if the pitcher gets him in the wrong spot. You can ask Morse about that.

  146. Manassas Nats' Fan - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Homer Rollins.Payton manning joining my rotation.

  147. MicheleS - Sep 18, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Blovy8.I think most of us want to watch and see what happens with Espi. The majority of us agree that he needs to cut down on his stikeouts. But willing to give him time to develop.We all need to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  148. JaneB - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    I wish the Fish would separate some wheat from chaff and fast.

  149. DJB - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    I'm torn on Espi. I like his character. He's a fighter, from what I see. But the other side of me sees what Billy Beane would see: a batter who gives the other team outs. He swings for the fences every time. He doesn't recognize the strike zone or where in the strike zone he can hit. His bat may be too heavy, which causes his body to move out of whack. He doesn't seem to adjust by shortening his swing or squaring his stance like Harper or Miguel Cabrera. That's a problem with all of the lineup except for Werth and Bryce. He doesn't put pressure on a pitcher, which is essential to winning in October. In Davey I trust, I suppose.

  150. Secret wasian man - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    braves win lead down to 5. Nats in BIGGGGGG trouble.

  151. SonnyG10 - Sep 18, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    I tend to agree with Peric on Espi, except on the ceiling comparison of Espi with Harper. However, I am quite content to let Rizzo and Johnson figure this one out. They are much better at it than I am.On another note, I just finished reading the novel "Zoo" by James Patterson and was pleased to see a reference to the Washington Nationals and to Stephen Strasburg. I wonder if he got permission to do that!

  152. phil dunton - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Nice of Espi to let the team know he was injured after he stunk up the joint for the past week or so, especially when Lombo was rotting on the bench and could have contributed a lot more than all of Espi's strikeouts. Maybe the injury could have been avoided if Davey had given Espi some rest from time to time.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 77 14.0
NEW YORK 73 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 82 18.5
Through Tuesday's games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak 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. Click here for past audio clips.

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