Danny Espinosa escaped any significant injury after fouling a pitch off his right foot, a scary moment that forced him to leave the game immediately, carried off the field by a pair of coaches. The Nationals consider Espinosa day-to-day with a contusion – “a bad bruise,” Manager Jim Riggleman said – and will receive precautionary X-rays Wednesday morning. By the time the game ended, Espinosa was walking gingerly around the clubhouse, but walking nonetheless.
“I’m not worried about it at all,” Espinosa said. “At first it hurt real bad. … If I had to play, I could play. There’s a still job to win, so I’m going to get back as fast as I can and do that.”
Of course, the second baseman job has already been won by Espinosa. He cemented himself during his call-up last September and has only enhanced his stock this spring. He has hit .324/.375/.541 with two doubles, two home runs and a handful of spectacular plays at second base. All of which is what made the moments after he fouled a pitch off his foot so harrowing.
Espinosa fell to his knees in the batter’s box after the ball drilled the very top of his foot, an unusual and acutely painful place for the ball to hit. “He hit it good,” Mets catcher Raul Chavez said. “I hope there’s nothing wrong. He hit it right in the foot.”
Manager Jim Riggleman came out of the dugout and told Espinosa, “That’s it. There’s no reason to push it.” Trainers instructed Espinosa not to put any weight on his right foot, and coaches carried him from the dugout to the trainer’s room. He iced his foot and, by the end of the night, was walking with only a slight hindrance to his gait.
Espinosa will sit out tomorrow’s game at least, Riggleman said, but “he feels like he could play tomorrow. The trainer feels like it’s just a bad bruise.”
Espinosa’s injury capped a rapid-fire day for injuries, all of which appear to be relatively minor. Ryan Zimmerman will sit at least five games, including today, with a groin injury. Ivan Rodriguez strained his left calf while warming up in the outfield. Michael Morse had an upset stomach after he took medication following a dental procedure. Only Morse will play Wednesday.
“I’ll tell you what,” Riggleman said. “We went from everything is great to all of a sudden four little things pretty quick. They’re all relatively – knock on wood – minor.”