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VIDEO: Espinosa motivated to win starting job for Nats

Jan 31, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT

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Danny Espinosa came to Nats Fest last weekend a motivated man. He’s been told by both Matt Williams and Mike Rizzo he’ll have a chance to win the starting job at second base, and seems both thrilled and re-energized by the opportunity.

Espinosa spoke with Mark in a one-on-one interview about his goals for spring, as well as how much his health affected him last season. He also goes into how supportive the fans were at Nats Fest and how much he appreciates their positive encouragement as he prepares for the season.

Watch the video right here:

  1. alexva6 - Jan 31, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    I am expecting a good season from Danny this year. I think his relationship with Davey was suspect, he has talent, he has a lot to prove and his future depends on it.

    if I’m right, he will be very valuable at both SS and 2B and will be a valuable trade chip in the offseason. after all look what Lombo brought and Danny has a higher ceiling.

  2. JamesFan - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    I predict a team “chemistry” issue with this.

  3. Section 222 - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    “I’ve never been one to make excuses for any of my play.”

    Ok then.

    Wish Mark would have asked him specifically about his shoulder. Is it 100% in Danny’s view?

  4. langleyclub - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    I have a bad vibe about this. Danny had his share of problems at the plate before the wrist issue arose. His apparent failure to look inward to diagnose his problems concerns me. The fact is that Rendon is the better offensive player, and barring an injury there is not a spot for him. He seems to considerably overrate his own abilities which can lead to chemistry issues.

  5. micksback1 - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    would love to see Espi become the 2014 comeback player of MLB. However, I have serious doubts like many do in here. Let’s see what happens this spring

    • scnatsfan - Jan 31, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      As much as I would love that I don’t see a full time position for him. For him to get significant time either RZ, Rendon or Desi has to get hurt.

  6. micksback1 - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    the chemistry issue is under rated and a most serious one. I have a good source with the club that told me many of the players were very upset with Davey for sticking with Espi as long as he did, I know this may be old news, but if that is true, what will the relationship be among the players towards Espi this season?

  7. raleighnat - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Unless Rendon has a terrible spring and Danny just tears it up, it is unlikely that Danny will win his job back for opening day. His first job is to have such a strong spring that he makes the team and builds confidence. If he starts the season as the utility player, he will get plenty of at bats and have plenty of opportunity to earn his way back into a regular position with the Nats or another organization via trade. If he does make the team and isn’t the starter, it is critical that he have the right attitude and take the long view so that he can become an everyday regular again. Of course, if he doesn’t perform or sulks he won’t be in DC for long anyway. All of that said, I really like Danny and hope he lands on his feet. Improving is going to be enough of a challenge that he really doesn’t need to shoot himself in the foot by not being a team player.

    • senators5 - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      You are right on target with this guy. He has at least two MAJOR flaws 1. Takes way too many strikes, especially 3rd ones. 2. Attitude: he could quickly become a self absorbing cancer on the bench. It was interesting how he threw his hitting coaches from little league on for his plate short comings. A relatively young team does not need this kind of problem, because he is who he is, a self centered guy always looking to blame others for who he is… Senators5

    • natsjackinfl - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      The batters eye at Space Coast Stadium is still in the same place so I can’t see how he can possibly improve from the left side. That was his explanation 2 springs ago for struggling in lieu of an excuse.

      • Section 222 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        Ah, right. He doesn’t make excuses, he just gives explanations. Now I get it.

  8. Doc - Jan 31, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Danny had a good ST in ’13, so we might have seen a better player without the wrist injury.

    Still wonder about the K’s, which he had long before the wrist and shoulder injuries.

    Like to see him do well, though.

    ALR is the odd man out, with RZim taking over 1B and ARen doing 3B if Danny has a good spring.

    • masterfishkeeper - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      He did have a good spring training last year, but as soon as the season started he couldn’t hit. And you’re right about the Ks. He has not seemed to have a good command of the strike zone, at least last year, but also during a lot of 2012. So count me as skeptical.

      Don’t get me wrong: when he’s hitting decently, he’s a very valuable player. Wish he could get his bat back to where it was in the first half of 2011.

      Regarding the attitude, I have no idea what his attitude is like and whether he’s liked by his teammates, and I’m guessing that many here who criticize Danny also have no idea.

      Having said that, the interview was disappointing, because he really did make excuses.

  9. Section 222 - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    I don’t care how good Espi’s spring is, the starting infield on Opening Day is NOT going to be 1B RZ, 2B Espi, 3B Rendon. I’m so sure of that that I will buy everyone on the NIDO Spreadsheet a virtual beverage if I’m wrong. :-)

    • Doc - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      The probabilities are on your side Section 222.

      Just speculatin’ and hoping for a different Danny.

      I think you should up the ante to a virtual 6 pack.

      • Section 222 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        Haha! Good point. The odds of this happening are such that maybe a virtual case would be more like it.

  10. masterfishkeeper - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Agreed. Spring training stats shouldn’t be used as the basis for major lineup changes. If, on the other hand, Laroche struggles in the spring and for the first two months of the season and Espinosa shows he can hit again, maybe there will be a change. Very unlikely, though.

  11. JayB - Jan 31, 2014 at 1:25 PM

    What a howl…..as long as I don,t say it in a thread then everyone else does all the way down to cancer and davey pet and selfish guy

    • Nats128 - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      JayB, you are right. They are saying what you’ve said for a long time. If he is a clubhouse cancer Williams won’t have him on the OD roster I would hope.

      • Robertha - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        We didn’t need JayB to tell us any of that. JayB states the obvious while peppering in a lot of obtuse nonsense. It’s not surprising at all that was ignored.

    • sjm308 - Jan 31, 2014 at 5:04 PM

      Read and reread the comments – You are the only one to use the word Cancer.

    • Section 222 - Jan 31, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      sjm, i hope you saw my reply a few days ago concerning the use of the word cancer. It’s unfair to criticize JayB for that.

  12. Joe Seamhead - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Danny Espinosa has a chance to win back a starter’s job with the Nats this year. And I have a chance to win this week’s Powerball because I gave myself a chance by buying a ticket.

    • Section 222 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      And they told you when you bought it that you have the same chance as everyone else!

      • letswin3 - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        Zackly!

  13. Doc - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Haven’t seen our favorite Ghost post lately.

    Hope he’s OK??

    • Nats128 - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      Doc, thinking the same. It’s been along time. Can someone who knows him reach out to him.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jan 31, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      maybe he is enjoying the off-season the way all of us are not. :P

      • nats128 - Jan 31, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        Lets hope thats the case Faraz.

  14. Joe Seamhead - Jan 31, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    I seem to remember Ghost hibernating last year for a while too. I also have wondered about a few folks that never came back after the “improvements” to this sight were made. I miss some, others not so much.

    Also, Corey Brown was outrighted, refused the assignment, and opted for free agency. I wish him luck.

    • Nats128 - Feb 1, 2014 at 7:19 AM

      Haven’t seen Laddie Blah Blah. He made a daily post that always summed up things real well.

      I guess he didn’t migrate over.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Feb 1, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        I am pretty sure that he was posting here. some just take a break in winter I guess. wonk also was on a similar break last off-season I believe.

  15. lphboston - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    If Espinosa tears it up in spring training, then what?
    He plays and Rendon sits? That would be crazy. You wait for an injury and then shuffle players around? Hope that LaRoche starts like ice again?
    I’m not sure I want Espinosa’s DNA on this team. Rather have a Joey Cora-type infielder who’s OK as a role player.

  16. letswin3 - Jan 31, 2014 at 6:53 PM

    Danny was third in MLB strikeouts in 2012 (first in National League), and he was 7th in all of the majors the year before. He has trouble with sightlines, shoulders, wrists, hitting coaches and accepting responsibility for his deficiencies at the plate. He refused shoulder surgery in 2 consecutive off-seasons, and If he didn’t have one of the more impressive gloves around these days, I would probably dislike both him and his alibi of the day ways. I said it the other day, and it’s still appropriate …. put up or shut up. Btw, I have a sixth sense that a deal for a journeyman utility infielder is probably already in the works, with a pending trade involving Danny held up until the former deal is consummated …. just a hunch, but …..

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