Danny Espinosa day-to-day, confident his foot isn’t broken

PORT ST. LUCIE - Danny Espinosa, the promising Nationals rookie who fouled a pitch off his right foot in the seventh inning of tonight’s game with the Mets, is day-to-day with a right foot contusion. And while he’ll have a precautionary X-ray tomorrow, he’s confident there are no broken bones in his foot.

Espinosa was helped off the field by two Nationals coaches in the seventh inning, but said he could have walked off under his own power if he’d needed to. He was walking around in the clubhouse without a noticeable limp after the game, and said he could play tomorrow if he needed to.

“I’m walking around, so I don’t think it’s anything,” Espinosa said. “They checked for fractures, checked for anything, and said it was good.”

He fouled a pitch from Pedro Beato directly off the top of his foot, and went to his knees for a few seconds before trying to get back in the batter’s box.

“The more weight he put on it, it wasn’t feeling good at all,” manager Jim Riggleman said. “I was just concerned that if he happened to hit another one down on there on the next pitch, that it would be excruciating. We got him out of there, and he iced it and stuff. The trainer just feels like it’s just a bad bruise.”

Espinosa won’t play tomorrow, and the Nationals won’t know anything definitive until he gets an X-ray. But the mood in the Nationals’ clubhouse after the game didn’t indicate any cause for alarm.

The second baseman was effectively anointed the team’s starter at the position before the spring, and hasn’t done anything to loosen his grip on the job. He’s hitting .324/.375/.541 this spring with two homers and a team-high 12 RBIs. Asked if he planned to take it easy, Espinosa quickly replied, “No. There’s still a job to win.

“Very rarely does someone break their foot on that,” Espinosa said. “It hurts, and you might be limping for a couple days, but I wasn’t too worried that it was broken.”