Washington Nationals News: Danny Espinosa’s first-half revival

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Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinion with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes discusses Danny Espinosa‘s revival in the first half of the 2015 season. As Janes notes, Espinosa was extremely valuable for the Nationals during the first half and rejuvenated his stalling career.

The last few years have not been easy for Espinosa. Injuries and a lack of production at the plate (which may have been directly related to the injuries) not only relegated Espinosa to a bench role with the Nationals, but also put his future in the big leagues in jeopardy. Espinosa was once considered the Nationals’ second baseman of the future, but his struggles in recent years essentially took him out of the team’s long-term picture.

This year, however, things changed.

In a season in which the Nationals have been overwhelmed by injuries to several key players, Espinosa has served as an extremely valuable and incredibly versatile replacement. The switch-hitting middle infielder has played every position on the infield as well as left field. Espinosa, whose spot on the Opening Day roster was by no means secure at the start of Spring Training, has emerged as an invaluable asset for the Nationals simply because he can do whatever the team needs him to do. And with the injuries that the Nationals have had this season, they’ve needed Espinosa to contribute in a number of ways and from several positions on the field.

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Not only has Espinosa proven his worth as a super-utility player, but he’s also developed into a legitimate threat in the batting order. Espinosa leads all National League second basemen with 10 home runs and is hitting well from both sides of the plate, which is impressive considering that he was prepared to give up switch-hitting during Spring Training.

The Nationals have had a lot of disappointments and frustrations this season, but Espinosa has not been one of them. The 28-year-old has played a key role in the Nationals’ rise to the top of the NL East this season, and he’ll undoubtedly be a key part of the ball club down the stretch, and even more so come October.

Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo discusses the All-Star Game experience of Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Danny Espinosa’s first-half revival

(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)

This season, Danny Espinosa has been a good, gritty all-around baseball player, and most players would probably tell you there is no higher compliment. He’s been the kind of guy who can hit a home run, bunt for a hit, make a standout play and steal a base, then take a hit to the knee and stay in the game. He did many of those things last weekend against the Orioles, lifting the Nationals’ depleted lineup with a bunt, a bomb, and plenty of defense.

Such has been the story for Espinosa this season as he has emerged as an everyday player, then an everyday contributor to a team that needed one in the first half.

“He’s kept us afloat a little bit,” Nationals Manager Matt Williams said. Hard to imagine, considering where Espinosa was as recently as March. Read full article here.

Harper, Scherzer enjoy Classic experience

(Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)

CINCINNATI — Don’t get Bryce Harper wrong. He loves this All-Star Game thing and harbors future ambitions for the Home Run Derby, despite declining an invitation this year. If Harper is asked, he will say no again next year in San Diego, then once more in 2017 — “[Giancarlo Stanton] will probably win in Miami,” he says of that year.

But when the Derby comes to Washington the year after that, Harper plans to participate.

“I’d like to do it in D.C.,” Harper said.

For now, one of the game’s brightest young players will settle for the All-Star Game itself. Read full article here.

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