Washington Nationals Reaction: Biggest Takeaways from Saturday’s Loss in Cincinnati

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Jun 4, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa hits a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 4, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa hits a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 4, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa (8) is congratulated by pinch hitter Stephen Drew (10) after Espinosa hit a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 4, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa (8) is congratulated by pinch hitter Stephen Drew (10) after Espinosa hit a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

Danny Espinosa is Still Starting

Another day, another start for Danny Espinosa. The 29-year old shortstop has appeared in 55 of the team’s 56 games played this season, despite sporting a slash line of .199/.292/.352. His .644 OPS ranks second worst among Nats starters, and is tied with Jayson Werth for the team lead in strikeouts with 49.

In related news, the team’s top position player prospect was called up to the majors on Friday. After going 3-3 with a double and a walk in his first game up, Dusty Baker opted to keep him on the bench Saturday to make room for… Danny Espinosa.

While Turner is fully expected to be the team’s starting shortstop come October, where does the team benefit from keeping him out of the lineup any longer? He has already accrued enough time in the minors to have extended team control an extra year. The team is losing games because of their offense now, and while he won’t be a savior that turns the offense into a dominant force, he will certainly be an upgrade over Espinosa.

Espinosa has always been considered a glove-first player, but even his defense hasn’t been enough to justify keeping him in the everyday lineup. He’s tied with Daniel Murphy for the most errors on the team (five) and sports just a .976 fielding percentage.

Tuner is by no means a poor defensive player, and while he may not have the arm Espinosa does, his defense could not be drastically worse than Danny’s. Regardless, his performance at the plate and on the basepaths would be more than enough to cancel out any miscues he has in the field.

Next: Bryce’s Slump is a Little Concerning

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