Washington Nationals News: Danny Espinosa makes first career start at third

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Good morning DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! The days are growing longer and the weather’s getting warmer, meaning that regular season baseball is right around the corner. With that in mind, start off your Sunday with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web!

In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Jamal Collier discusses Danny Espinosa‘s first career start at third base in yesterday’s game against the Marlins. As Collier notes, the start was not only the first time he’d started at first in his professional career, but it was also the first time he’s ever started at the position––even as a little kid.

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While Espinosa doesn’t have much experience at the hot corner, the Nationals are giving him some reps at the position in case Anthony Rendon‘s knee injury prevents him from being ready for Opening Day. It’s not ideal, but with Espinosa’s quick feet and incredibly strong arm, playing third base should not be too difficult for him once he’s had practice at the position. And, more importantly, if Rendon can’t play third, Espinosa might be the best option the Nationals have.

Also in today’s Daily, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post discusses Ryan Zimmerman‘s ever important presence in the Nationals’ clubhouse. As Janes writes, Zimmerman is the “pillar” of the clubhouse, never changing who he is for anyone or anything. Zimmerman is, without a doubt, the heart and soul of this team. And more importantly, he accomplishes what he does while staying humble and without drawing attention to himself.

Check out the articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And, as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals Spring Training needs.

Espinosa makes first career start at third base

(Jamal Collier, MLB.com)

VIERA, Fla — With uncertainty surrounding the health of third baseman Anthony Rendon‘s left knee and a split-squad game scheduled for the day, Danny Espinosa started at third base during Saturday’s contest against the Marlins.

Espinosa has never started a game at third base during the regular season in either his Major or Minor League career, but Nationals manager Matt Williams approached him on the idea to begin getting acclimated to the position.

“My thought on it was, ‘Hey, if we get in the situation where you have to play it, I just want you to have experience there,'” Williams said. “He’s got great hands, great feet, plenty of arm, we all know that. It’s a question of him getting used to the position a little bit in case it comes up during the season and he’s got to do it. Right now, it gives him the opportunity to get out there in a non-pressure type situation and play.” Read full article here.

The pillar of the Nats’ clubhouse

(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)

VIERA, Fla. — The contents of the locker farthest from the door of the Space Coast Stadium clubhouse have not changed much over the years. Washington Nationals veteran Ryan Zimmerman uses that locker each spring, and he has not changed much, either.

He may have occupied a locker down a few years back. Clubhouse manager Mike Wallace can’t say for sure, because Zimmerman’s daily diligence includes nothing eye-catching or ear-popping that would draw attention. He stands out because he never does.

“He’s been here a long time, and he’s just kind of like a pillar in the middle of the clubhouse,” Jayson Werth said. “. . . He’s Mr. Nat. Good teammate. Good guy. Hard worker. Good player. Not much more you can say.” Read full article here.

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