(AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Danny Espinosa is off to a slow start in his stint with Leones de Ponce of the Puerto Rico Baseball League.
Through four games, Espinosa is 4/17 with no extra base hits or walks, giving him a perfect stat line of .235/.235/.235
It was reported by Byron Kerr that Espinosa choose to play Winter Ball in Puerto Rico due to the high doses of breaking balls he'd see from the pitchers; so far, Danny is getting a first hand lesson in how hard breaking balls can be to hit.
Through 17 at bats, Espinosa has already struck out six times, or 35% of his at-bats. Strike outs, of course, are nothing new for the explosive infielder, as Espinosa posted 30 in just 103 major league at-bats in 2010. If an education in breaking balls is what Danny was seeking, he certainly has found it in Puerto Rico.
While struggles through a small number of at-bats is nothing to get too worked up about, something that may pique the interest of Nationals fans is the fact that Espinosa has played exclusively at SS for Ponce, so far.
Is Espinosa playing SS, and not 2B in Winter Ball a sign of things to come for the Washington Nationals, or is it a function of roster size and who's capable of playing what position for Leones?
If Espinosa is playing SS because the Nationals have asked him to, one has to wonder about the future of current SS Ian Desmond. Is a position switch in the works for the two young infielders, or is Mike Rizzo possibly working on a trade that involves Desmond or Espinosa?
Only time will tell, but the situation is definitely worth keeping an eye on moving forward this winter.
- - - -