District Daily: Espinosa Working to Fix Swing From Left Side, Grading Matt Williams


Jun 26, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Nationals second baseman

Danny Espinosa

(8) is struck out by Chicago Cubs relief pitcher

Hector Rondon

(56) in the bottom of the ninth inning for the final out during a game at Wrigley Field. The Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Start off your day with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web:

Espinosa working to fix swing from left side

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa is consistent as a right-handed hitter, going 18-for 65 [.277] entering Saturday, but he continues to have problems from the left side of the plate, hitting .196 with 75 strikeouts in 179 at-bats.

Why is Espinosa more successful from the right side of the plate?

“When he starts to swing from the hitting slot, he is more free [from the right side],” hitting coach Rick Schu said. “Left-handed, he has got a little longer path to get there, so he is more consistent right-handed.” Read full article here.

Grading Washington Nationals Manager Matt Williams

(Harry Floyd, Rant Sports)

Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams is in his first year coaching the team.

His grade in the first half of the season: B+

So far, so good in Washington DC for the first year head coach. In the 2013 season, former manager Davey Johnson led the Nationals to a respectable 87-76 record. In the first half of the 2014 season, Williams has the Nationals bouncing between first and second place in the National League East, jockeying for the number one spot with the Atlanta Braves.

Williams had a productive playing career, making five all-star games and winning the World Series in 2001. His play has translated into coaching thus far. Read full article here.

Washington Nationals show depth matters as much as having surefire all-stars

(Jason Reid, Washington Post)

When you analyze the Washington Nationals, no one jumps out as an all-star candidate. They haven’t produced eye-catching statistics. And in the big picture, that’s not a problem.

Although the Nationals don’t have any obvious all-star picks — the rosters will be announced Sunday night — they do have a deep club, which has overcome a spate of injuries to remain near the top of the National League East. Despite lacking star power, the Nationals are finally healthy and still could fulfill their World Series aspirations. There’s a lot to like about an ensemble cast that was assembled well. Read full article here.