Alex Brandon/Associated Press
Danny Espinosa has exhibited strong play in spots thus far in spring training.
Espniosa, the Nats' starting second baseman in 2012, lost favor with retired manager Davey Johnson and spent most of the 2013 season struggling with Washington's Triple-A affiliate, Syracuse.
Nevertheless, Espinosa has displayed improvement and is in the mix to win the starting job at second base, according to Nationals manager Matt Williams—per Mid-Atlantic Sports Network's Dan Kolko.
Despite starting spring training 0-10 from the plate this spring, it's pretty clear that Williams is still high on the former third-round pick, according to Kolko.
I think we've talked to him a lot about what he's done so far. The at-bats that he's taken so far have been really good. So you don't have any hits in 10 at-bats, but that really doesn't mean anything. He's pounded the ball pretty good, left-handed the other way towards shortstop. He's lined out over there, he's had a couple balls taken from him in the infield. Hit a ball hard to center field yesterday. So if those drop, now all of a sudden, he's hitting .400. So in those limited at-bats, you just can't make a determination. But what we see is him having good at-bats and putting the ball in play hard. It's exactly where he wants to be. I tell him every day, 'Stay right there. You're fine. That's exactly what you want right now.' Results aren't there, but what do they really mean right now anyway? So the fact that he's taking good at-bats is important. That's all we look at.
Espinosa went three for his next five at the plate, including a double, following the rough start.
What adds to Espinosa's stock this season is his versatility. He's taken reps at both second base and shortstop and figures to contribute heavily as a defensive presence.