Ian Desmond gets day off with sore hamstring

Danny Espinosa is at shortstop today because Riggleman wanted to give Ian Desmond a day to rest his sore hamstring. Desmond has been playing through the injury for a couple days, and Riggleman took Desmond out in the eighth inning yesterday, partially because he was concerned Desmond would pull it running as hard as he does.

“He could play today, but I would like to get him a day off,” Riggleman said. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow. He ran real hard yesterday. He beat out a ball to first base. I was a little concerned that that play was going to be so close and he was going to strain it there. So we got a little lead there, and I took him out knowing I was going to sit him today. Hopefully that will soften it a little bit.”

Espinosa is a natural shortstop, and the Nationals will get to see him there for the first time today. But they see him being a second baseman in the long run.

“I think it’s another option to know he can go over there,” Riggleman said. “I’ve seen him play there in spring training, and I know he can play shortstop. He’s one of the few guys in baseball who can throw like Desmond, so he’s got plenty of arm to do it. But most of his playing time’s going to be at second base.”