Sep 9, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals second basemanDanny Espinosa
(8) doubles during the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Washington Nationals defeated against the Atlanta Braves 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Next Step: Anatomy of the bench, core-four of the ‘pen
Danny Espinosa will make the roster not because of his bat, but because he can fill in at second base and at shortstop. He is the insurance necessary in the event that Cabrera or Desmond are injured and can pinch-hit from both sides of the plate. You can’t argue for Jeff Kobernus to take that role — he has not played enough for the organization to know if he can handle that job this time around.
Kevin Frandsen will make the roster because he is one of the few pinch-hitters the Nationals have that actually produces, and because he can play a variety of positions, including third base.
That is a total of 21 players. Now you only have four more spots to fill. This is where it gets tricky.