Second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera, a crucial contributor since arriving in a trade from Cleveland, exited the Nationals’ 14-6 victory Sunday afternoon with tightness in his right side. Manager Matt Williams said Cabrera is “day to day,” and Cabrera said he does not expect to miss more than a game or two.
“I felt it my last at-bat, but I’m feeling better,” Cabrera said. “I’ve got to see how I feel tomorrow, and we’ll take it from there.”
Cabrera hurt himself in the seventh inning, when he hit a groundout to shortstop on an awkward half-swing. Cabrera did not take the field for the bottom of the eighth.
“We’ll see how he is tomorrow,” Williams said. “We didn’t want to take any chances in that situation. We don’t know the severity of it. We don’t know exactly. We’ll let the docs take a look at him, and we’ll have more information on him tomorrow.”
Since the Nationals acquired Cabrera for Zach Walters on July 31, he has gone 19 for 72 with 12 walks, two homers and five doubles. He has played dazzling second base, a position he hadn’t played since 2009 with the Indians.
Should Cabrera miss time, the Nationals will be covered with Danny Espinosa, who came off the bench Sunday and went 2 for 2 with a home run. The homer, off Juan Gutierrez, came from the left side of the plate. Espinosa had been hitting .179 in 224 plate appearances hitting left-handed this season.
“Just to get some at-bats to where I can get some timing down, it felt good,” Espinosa said.
Espinosa has already started 77 games this season, and he has crushed left-handed pitchers. The Nationals will have no qualms using him in Cabrera’s place for as long as need be.
“If Asdrubal is down for a couple of days, he’s able to step right in and do well,” Williams said.