Today at FanFest, Washington Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa said that he played through the final month of last season with a torn rotator cuff in his left (non-throwing) shoulder. He also said that he will continue to try to play with it without repairing it with surgery this off-season.
Espinosa only learned of the injury two weeks after the season ended during an MRI with Dr. Neil Yocum. The injury seemed to occur after a dive on September 7. Espinosa had struggled after that dive, hitting .157 (14/89) with 34 strikeouts after Sept. 7.
There were rumors floating around this off-season that the Nationals were trying to upgrade at second base, and that there could be a position battle between Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi. It will be interesting to see if Espinosa can adjust to playing with the pain throughout Spring Training and the early part of the season. If not, Davey Johnson, Mike Rizzo, Espinosa may have to make a decision on whether keeping him in the lineup is holding the team back from going forward.
Yet another point to look for once baseball season gets underway.