Danny Espinosa is not having a good year at bat playing second base. Batting .177 with an OBP around .200 is ugly to watch. His below average bat has always been countered by his power potential and above average glove. This year the two don’t average out. Its could be that he is not the player he appeared to be coming up through the Nationals farm system and his rookie year. There is also the very good chance that his torn rotator cuff is impacting him to the point that he needs surgery. The only reason to have Espinosa in the lineup is his glove.
Here is the thing to know about Espinosa. For the last two years, he is the seventh best second baseman in the MLB according to WAR. Despite the fact he is a bellow average hitter, he was the second best 2nd baseman in the field to Darwin Barney of the Gold Glove winner from the Cubs.
|3||Dustin Pedroia||Red Sox||11.9||$53.30|
Which brings us to Lombardozzi. Coming up through the minors he was a lead off hitter. He was more a hit your way on OBP guy than a take a walk guy. One could argue that this line up needs guys on base more than guys who can clean up the bases. As noted yesterday:
But, can Lombardozzi’s glove plus OBP improve the Nats this year if Espinosa is shut down for injury or performance. Here are the the fielding stats so far this year.
In a smaller sample size, Lombo is performing as good if not better than Espinosa at 2nd. This should not be a surprise, he has a reputation as an outstanding fielder. He won the Minor League Gold Glove in 2011.
2011 MILB RAWLINGS GOLD GLOVE AWARD WINNERS
|P||Craig Westcott||San Jose||San Francisco|
|1B||Efren Navarro||Salt Lake||Los Angeles (AL)|
|2B||Steve Lombardozzi||Harrisburg and Syracuse||Washington|
|SS||Darwin Perez||Arkansas||Los Angeles (AL)|
|3B||Brandon Laird||Scranton/Wilkes-Barre||New York (AL)|
|LF||Austin Krum||Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre||New York (AL)|
|CF||Jordan Danks||Charlotte||Chicago (AL)|
- Danny Espinosa hates taking pitches (halfstreetheartattack.com)
- Espinosa Benched for Lombardozzi Next Two Games (washington.cbslocal.com)
- Get To Know a Stat: wOBA and wRC (aka Lombo vs. Danny Part 567) (nats101.com)