Last year, the Nationals brought Ian Desmond to the majors for a September call-up, and he played so well that he got a shot to win the shortstop job in spring training, which he did. This year, it looks like the Nationals will try to catch lightning in a bottle again.
Danny Espinosa, a shortstop at Triple-A Syracuse and one of the Nationals' top middle infield prospects, will be among the team's September call-ups, according to a tweet from Espinosa's sister Christina.
Espinosa hit .295/.349/.463 with four homers and 15 RBI in 24 games at Syracuse, after hitting 18 homers in 99 games at Double-A Harrisburg. The Chiefs had played him several times at second base, possibly preparing him to move to that position next year and form the Nationals' middle infield with Desmond, who's completing his first full year in the majors at shortstop.
A scout I talked to last month in Philadelphia said Espinosa's athleticism is just a hair behind Desmond's, though both players have a penchant for making errors. Still, the two of them together could give the Nationals one of the rangiest middle infields in baseball next year, if Espinosa proves he can stick in the big leagues.
If Espinosa is indeed headed to the majors, the Nationals would have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for him, but transferring Stephen Strasburg to the 60-day DL seems like an easy fix for that.
Here's a story I wrote about the changes Espinosa was making to his swing during spring training.