|Photo by USA Today|
Through his first 16 games this season, Danny Espinosa has played crisp defense at second base and cut down his strikeouts to about half the rate he whiffed last season. But a late 2012 slump has seemed to carry over into the new year as Espinosa remains a hole in the Nationals’ lineup with an ugly .167 batting average and just three hits in his last eight games.
The Nationals falling to .500 (10-10) on Tuesday night prompted manager Davey Johnson to make some lineup changes, but Espinosa remained at second base. The Nats skipper thinks if he keeps Espinosa in there, at some point he will pull through.
“Danny had a great spring. He’s a deep thinker, too. Sometimes he gets in his own way,” Johnson said.
“I see signs where it looks like he’s really getting focused and then I see times where he gets thinking too much. He’s not alone. Desi does the same thing. Tries to do too much and have conversations with him. Mostly, you gotta just stay positive.”