Matt Williams unconcerned with Danny Espinosa’s slow start


Danny Espinosa throwing. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Danny Espinosa entered spring training with an opportunity to win back his old job of second base and the backing of the team’s manager and general manager. He has started the spring schedule 0 for 10 with an RBI and a strikeout. But Manager Matt Williams is unconcerned because, in both batting practice and in games, Espinosa’s swing has looked good to him.

“We’ve talked to him a lot about what he’s done so far,” Williams said. “The at-bats that he has taken so far are really good. You don’t have any hits in 10 at-bats but that doesn’t really mean anything. He’s pounding the ball pretty good left-handed the other way toward shortstop. He’s lined out over there. He hit a ball hard to center field (Tuesday). If those balls drop, all of sudden he’s hitting .400. So in those limited at-bats you can’t make a determination.”

One Nationals evaluator said he was pleased with Espinosa’s left-handed swing so far this spring. From the left-hand side, Espinosa swing had a tendency to get long, but has been more direct this spring. In Monday’s game, Espinosa hit an outside pitch to far left field for a flyout, but it was an example of his effort to hit the ball where it is pitched instead of pulling it.

Williams said he likes that Espinosa is putting the ball in play hard despite producing no hits, and he reassures him of his progress so far. 

“I tell (Espinosa) every day, ‘Stay right there. You’re fine. That’s exactly what you want right now,’” Williams said. “Results aren’t there but what do they really mean right now anyway. The guys that he’s taking good at-bats anyway but that’s important. That’s all we look at.”

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.
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James Wagner · March 5

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