Danny Espinosa's big league debut over the past few days reads like one of those kids' novels from the 1940's and '50's: complete fiction. His 6 RBI game today was something Nationals' fans will remember for a long, long time.
Walking around the concourse to the MASN set in the seventh inning took a lot longer than usual today. Every 50 feet or so someone asked me if Espinosa will be the everyday second baseman next year.
I can't say for sure, but I know from some club sources that they thought he'd hit at the big league level before he was called up, and they also think he may be more of a natural shortstop than a second baseman. Might that mean a shift by Ian Desmond to the other side of second? It's not impossible, but I tend to think they'll keep him where he is.
Yes, Desmond's had a lot of errors this year, but if you do a little bit of research, you'll find a long list of big league shortstops - many with All-Star credentials - who had big error seasons near the front of their careers. It doesn't mean they won't get much, much better.
Both Desmond and Espinosa have plus arms, and it's clear they both have decent pop for middle infielders. If you're serious about the game, you've figured out that the Nationals have done a fairly decent job of player development, with more on the way.
Tuesday will give us our first look at Yunesky Maya, who will face Mets' rookie Dillon Gee. Both pitchers will be making their big league debuts. Maya, at 28, has already pitched a number of big games in his Cuban career. Gee has already thrown more than 160 innings in the minors this year, with 165 strikeouts. He's not a real hard thrower, but has a 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and shouldn't be taken lightly, despite an ERA of around 5 runs a game.
At 6'1" Dillon is a whopping 8 inches shorter than the only other big leaguer with the last name of "Gee," pitcher Johnny Gee of the Pirates and Giants 1939-46. I don't think the two men are related. Dillon is a native Texan, while Johnny hailed from upstate New York.