VIERA, Fla. - Barring any news, this will be the last thing I’ll have for you today, but I just wanted to share a couple interesting items on how two Nationals people - second baseman Danny Espinosa and assistant GM Bob Boone - spent their winters.
Espinosa, of course, had surgery to remove the hook of hamate bone in his right hand in November. He first felt pain in his hand while playing winter ball in Puerto Rico, and flew back to the United States to have surgery in Baltimore the day before Thanksgiving. Doctors couldn’t tell him exactly when he’d broken the bone, though they suspected he’d been playing through it for several months. If that’s the case, it didn’t stop him from hitting six homers during a September call-up, and Espinosa said he felt fine during his winter ball stint. “I hit like .280,” he said.
Then it was off to Kentucky to spend Thanksgiving at his girlfriend’s house, and because he couldn’t work out, Espinosa was laid up in bluegrass country for two weeks, capping off a stretch that had included two flights across two states and a U.S. territory, and a surgery.
He was supposed to spend the winter playing second base to get a better feel for his new position, but when his winter league team got worried about its depth at short, Espinosa wound up back at his natural position. He didn’t get the work at second base he was hoping for this winter, but figures he’ll have plenty of time this spring, and said his hand isn’t bothering him when he swings a bat.
Boone was able to do most of his front office work via laptop and cell phone, which allowed him to slip away for part of the winter. But instead of planning vacations, the former major league catcher went west to work with his landscaping company outside of Anaheim, Calif, laying turf and moving earth when he wasn’t mapping out the futures of Nationals prospects.
His company, Boone Action Turf, was founded in 2005 and primarily installs synthetic turf surfaces for baseball and football complexes, as well as lawns (think a modernized Brady Bunch backyard). It gave Boone a chance to spend some time with his youngest son, Matt, who spent six years in the Reds’ farm system and works for the company.
“It was a great winter,” Bob Boone said.
We’ve also got one more video posted on our Facebook page, where Jim Riggleman talks about how the team’s pitching staff shapes up. Check it out.