Second baseman Danny Espinosa hit a three-run homer Wednesday in the Nationals’ 7-1 win over the Mets. The discrepancy in his splits has been well documented from the right side (.310 vs. left-handers) and the left side of the plate (.184 vs. right-handers).
Espinosa said after last night’s game that he wasn’t against abandoning switch-hitting, but that he can’t just do that midseason.
Manager Matt Williams said he has seen players in the past that have been able to do that.
“Sure, I’ve seen it,” Williams said. “Generally, it’s a situation where somebody has experience somewhere in the past doing that. The only issue with Danny is he doesn’t have that. So, for him to hit right-handed exclusively, he had to go get some experience doing it. It’s very difficult to do here.
“He’s got a really good swing right-handed. He’s got certainly a powerful swing left-handed, we’ve seen that. It’s something that can be worked on if he wants to go about doing that. But it’s difficult if he’s never done it, especially at the big league level. You’d have to have some kind of reps in some regard.”
Williams mentioned how Shane Victorino did it midseason last year, but he had experience doing it before.
“The fact that he’s thinking about it is a positive thing for him, but you just can’t jump in the fire like that,” Williams said.
But Williams was adamant in saying he wasn’t requesting or suggesting that Espinosa needs to just hit from the right side from now on. He references his comments from yesterday’s pregame when someone asked him about possibly sending Bryce Harper to the minors.
“I’m learning quickly that I need to be clear about things,” Williams said. “Let me be clear, I’m not suggesting Danny needs to hit right-handed only. That did not come out of my mouth and it hasn’t. (I’m) simply answering a question.”
Third baseman Anthony Rendon is hitting .282 with 14 homers. He also has 31 doubles, which is tied for fourth best in the National League. He has 50 total extra-base hits.
Williams explained why Rendon has been able to hit so well this season and what he projects him to be able to average in his career.
“Just the approach. The approach is the same all the time,” Williams said. “I would liken him to for me I think he can be a .300 hitter with a little bit of power. That’s what I see.
“That approach lends to those extra base hits, those balls to opposite field that he hits, doubles to right center. Last night was a prime example of his approach. He hit a fastball to right center. He hit a breaking ball in the zone down the left field line. He’s got some power to go along with it. If he can spread the ball around like that, that’s his approach, that’s why he is so successful.”
Center fielder Denard Span is the midst of a 10-game hitting streak after a third inning single last night. He has also reached base in 32 straight games, which is second only to Ryan Zimmerman’s team record of 43 straight game streak in early 2009.
“If you’re seeing the ball like he’s seeing it, it’s fun going to the plate because the ball looks good to you,” Williams said.
“It’s his approach. It’s the way he’s going about it. Which is a good thing for us and our club.”
Wilson Ramos is not in the lineup today. Williams says the plan is for Ramos to be on the plane today to Atlanta after the game.
Update: Ramos has been reinstated from paternity leave in time for today’s game. He is available to play, but not in starting lineup. Sandy Leon has been optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.