Skip to content

Davey sticking with Espinosa through slump

Apr 24, 2013, 4:26 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today

Through his first 16 games this season, Danny Espinosa has played crisp defense at second base and cut down his strikeouts to about half the rate he whiffed last season. But a late 2012 slump has seemed to carry over into the new year as Espinosa remains a hole in the Nationals’ lineup with an ugly .167 batting average and just three hits in his last eight games. 
The Nationals falling to .500 (10-10) on Tuesday night prompted manager Davey Johnson to make some lineup changes, but Espinosa remained at second base. The Nats skipper thinks if he keeps Espinosa in there, at some point he will pull through.
“Danny had a great spring. He’s a deep thinker, too. Sometimes he gets in his own way,” Johnson said.
“I see signs where it looks like he’s really getting focused and then I see times where he gets thinking too much. He’s not alone. Desi does the same thing. Tries to do too much and have conversations with him. Mostly, you gotta just stay positive.”
  1. Kiterp - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Someone can do the numerical comparison but I don’t remember at this point in the season last year the offense was any better. Same on-the-ledge comments about the same time in 2012. The difference was that last year the pitching was unbelievable the first month and there were always a couple batters that would string out something for a win in the 8/9th. A lot of cardiac games. 2013: Pitching is coming around. Batting will to. Sky still in place

  2. baseballswami - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    This guy could do anything and he would still be the teacher's pet.

  3. phil dunton - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    What slump? Espinosa has never consistently hit major league pitching. Sit him down or better yet send him to Syracuse and play Lombardozzi.

  4. Don - Apr 24, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Yeah, that is generous to say Espi's end of 2012 slump has carried over. He's a career .236 hitter that Ks 30% of his ABs. Him not taking so many Ks to start 2013 is great, but he's not hitting the ball hard either. This notion that the club has with Espi and Desi that the one magic game that is going to alter the guy's learning curve so much, to make himm fullfil his great promise, is an any day event, is getting harder and harder to choke down with so many games having gone by the boards. Desi's glove is not good enough to play SS in MLB, Espi's bat is not good enough to play every day at 2B — the sample sizes are big. These guys either get it done or the Club should use guys who do — we're chasing a WS.

  5. Knoxville Nat - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    From a previous post,Bowdenball said:"Yes. I'd like to point out that you seem to not understand small sample sizes."On the contrary I specifically said Lombo has had far less at bats this year than Espinosa but I also made the point that SO FAR THIS YEAR (added emphasis)Lombo has outperformed Espinosa in terms of base hits and rbi's relative to the number of at bats. The point I'm trying to make sir is that Espinosa looks as hopeless as he ever has and that Lombardozzi has OUTPERFORMED him when given the chance. Would you (and others) be so quick to defend the manager for sticking with his veterans (ALR included)had the manager been someone else besides DJ? I can only imagine the wrath someone like Riggleman would have received on this board for sticking with a non performing veteran when a bench player clearly has done a better job SO FAR this season.

  6. Tcostant - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    More nationals info:http://www.sportsmedia101.com/washingtonnationals/

  7. nats guy - Apr 24, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    This team is really, really, really hard to watch. Very predictable. Same suspects. I at least enjoyed watching the 2011 team. They cared and were enjoying playing. This team not so much. Not very good.

  8. SCNatsFan - Apr 24, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    My feelings on Danny are well known. Maybe Ian was the worst thing that could happen to Danny – people think that since we were patient with him and it paid off then we should do the same with Danny. I'll leave that to smarter people then me but I just don't see it.

  9. JayB - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Yup…it is past time to send Danny to AAA. He is NOT going to help this team win this year.Storen is way way overrated.Yes Njack these are the two things I hammered during winter and Spring training and they are just painfully true to everyone but Pig Headed Rizzo and to Proud Davey.Not to pull a Peric but…….was I right? It could be a first but it sure looks clear yet again this year.

  10. Teresa - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    A slump???? That's the laugh of the century. This has been Espi's "MO" for a long, long while. I have news for you, Davey — it isn't just a "slump", it's what Espi has been and will continue to be, at the plate. For some reason unknown to man and beast, Davey sticks with this guy no matter what the production (or lack thereof).That says more about Davey than it does about Espinosa.Davey's two pets (Espi and ALR) are both struggling horribly at the plate. Remember when Davey salivated and literally begged ALR to re-sign with the Nats in the off-season?? Well, Davey, you got your wish and now we all have to live with it.

  11. Manassas Nats' Fan - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    By definition he is not in slump. A very misleading headline.Espi average is pretty much same as last season' s. last 30 or so game.To be a slump it has to be alot worse. This is the same.How low does Espi go before he is pulled

  12. NatsNut - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Yea, not to pile on, but sorry Davey, my money is on it taking way longer than just one game, but maybe that's just me.“His approach is definitely better. I like where he's at,” Johnson said. “Just need to have one ballgame to get him going.

  13. Laddie Blah Blah - Apr 25, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    "How low does Espi go before he is pulled…"The Mendoza Line is not low enough. If it was, he would have been pulled long ago. But he is approaching .150, a new standard. Let's call it the "Espinoza Line."If he goes 0 for 1 in his first AB tomorrow, he will break through the Espinoza Line. I suspect his shoulder is affecting his play, including that dropped throw. I didn't see the play, but a quick motion to apply a tag usually requires quickly rotating the shoulder joint as you field a throw high and then move your arm down to make the tag.If it is his shoulder, then nothing will stop his slide, even past the Espinoza Line. How many times have the Nats informed us that an injury will not affect a player's performance? Zim was going to be just fine, too, going into this season after shoulder surgery over the winter. Many were skeptical, and those who were have been proved correct. And 2 years ago La Roche was going to be able to go through an entire season with a torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder, the same injury Danny has to his non-throwing shoulder.Zim's shoulder problems have affected his play, as did ALR's shoulder problem 2 years ago. This time (Danny) it's different. Uh, huh. The evidence says otherwise. Espinoza has never been a good hitter, but he is hitting almost 90 points below his career average, and dropping.

  14. Unknown - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Maybe Davey thinks Danny is a 2013 version of Mark Belanger. Belanger was a great, great SS and hitting .205 was enough. This is not the same.

  15. city - May 4, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    thanks for share...

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 56 --
ATLANTA 72 65 6.0
MIAMI 68 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 73 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 74 15.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 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.

Follow us on Twitter