When the Nationals told Danny Espinosa he was headed back to the minors, the struggling second baseman didn’t have to search hard for his feelings. “I was [ticked] off,” he said. It didn’t take long, though, for him to embrace the team’s decision. He says he knew something was wrong with his swing and suiting up for the Syracuse Chiefs would give him time to figure it out.
“I think this will be the biggest blessing in disguise of my life,” Espinosa said Tuesday.
– Rick Maese, Washington Post
Simple question: Why would a player with a .158 OBP and .272 SLG be [ticked] off to go to the minors? Danny Espinosa was one of the worst regular players in Major League Baseball this season. He had a negative 0.9 oWAR. He had 47 strikeouts and 4 walks in 167 at bats. Danny Espinosa was painful to watch. He is one of the major reasons a World Series favorite is struggling to get to .500.
So, I ask again: why is he mad he was sent to the minors? If anything, he should be mad the Nats didn’t send him sooner.
I get that players are competitive. And they’re confident in their abilities. But really dude? You were awful.
Maybe Danny Espinosa is trying to save face (which is not as fun as eating face). Maybe he knows he was seriously hurting his team by wildly swinging through average fastballs against mediocre MLB pitchers. I mean, he couldn’t possibly be that clueless to think that he currently deserves a Major League starting job.
But his quote worries me that the Nationals players feel entitled. There wasn’t a lot of competition in the Nats training camp this year. With a division title banner hanging in the stadium, most players, Espinosa included, knew their 2013 roll well before Opening Day. On top of that, Davey Johnson is a players manager, reluctant to bench players during slumps.
But players should be at least a little fearful of their jobs. Fear motivates. At a minimum, they shouldn’t be surprised when they’re sent to minors after they’ve clearly demonstrated they can’t compete at the big boy level.
Danny, you might have been [ticked] off to go to AAA, but I was [ticked] off watching you strike out.
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