Danny Espinosa began his rehab assignment at Class AAA Syracuse on Thursday. After undergoing MRI exams on his wrist and shoulder, he received a cortisone shot in the fractured right wrist he played with for six weeks. He’s now landed on the disabled list for about 10 days of rest, and the Nationals believe Espinosa is on his way toward getting healthy.
In the meantime, his replacement, Anthony Rendon has been the Nationals most productive hitter since he second call-up on the same day Espinosa landed on the disabled list. Rendon is hitting .410 with three walks in that span of ten games, including a memorable career first home run to win a game in Cleveland. In all, Rendon is hitting .343 with eight walks in 18 major league games. He may not play second as well as Epinosa, but he has held his own and is learning. What does this all mean for Espinosa, who hit .158 with four walks in 44 games?
After being ramped up three innings at a time, Espinosa played his first full game at Syracuse on Sunday and went 0 for 4 with a walk and two strikeouts. He played six innings of Monday and went 0 for 2 with a walk, run and two strikeouts, bringing his five-game total to .154 (2 for 13) with three walks. According to Manager Davey Johnson, Espinosa said his wrist felt fine after Sunday’s game. The Nationals have been more concerned about his wrist than his torn left rotator cuff, which Espinosa worked hard this offseason to rehab and a recent MRI showed no new damage. Part of the process of putting Espinosa back together is not only getting him fully healthy again but fixing his woeful hitting. He may feel better but his performance hasn’t been yet.