Second baseman Danny Espinosa will likely miss only a game or two at most after he exited the Nationals’ 9-0 loss to the Braves this afternoon with a sore right wrist. Espinosa underwent X-rays during the game, and the tests revealed Espinosa had not suffered a broken bone or any other structural damage.
Manager Davey Johnson said Espinosa will “probably miss a game or two,” but Espinosa hopes he can start tomorrow at the Marlins.
“If I wake up in the morning and I’m feeling good, I’ll get in there,” Espinosa said.
In the second inning today, Braves left-hander Paul Maholm hit Espinosa on the right wrist with an 88-mph fastball. He dropped the bat and shook his hand as he walked to first base.
“I wasn’t too happy when I got hit,” Espinosa said. “Hit in the hand, hit in the wrist, you can easily break something. When I first got hit I wasn’t thrilled about it. Relieved to find out that it’s just hopefully bruising and a lot of inflammation.”
Espinosa stayed on the base paths and remained in the game for another inning, but he left in the fourth in favor of Steve Lombardozzi, who went 1 for 3 and made an error at second base.
“It got worse,” Espinosa said. “I thought it would calm down, but it just got worse and throbbing more and more, and more swollen and got stiffer. So that’s why I decided to come out.”
When team doctors first looked at Espinosa, he said, they first worried he had broken his hamate bone. Espinosa took that as a relief – he underwent surgery to remove his hamate bone after the 2010 season. He figured he was hit in the ulnar nerve, which led to the burst of pain.
“Everything right now is pretty sore,” Espinosa said. “They said, my grip strength and everything is fine. It just tightened up.”
While Johnson expected Espinosa to miss a game or two, it has been difficult to keep Espinosa out of the lineup. He has played 318 of 324 games the past two seasons despite a torn labrum in his left shoulder. In 2011, he was drilled on the hand in San Francisco against the Giants. Despite an initial concern he had broken a bone, he played the very next game.
“Same thing” today, Espinosa said. “Just hit in the wrist, in the hand, it’s just when you get hit in a place like that, you know when you’re hit that it’s so easy for something to break. Just a big relief that nothing happened.”