VIERA, Fla. - We're headed into the bottom of the fifth, and Danny Espinosa has given the Nationals a comfortable lead. Batting as a right-hander against right-hander Pedro Beato, Espinosa blasted a two-run homer over the right field fence in the fourth to give the Nationals a 4-1 lead over the Mets as part of a four-run fourth.
Espinosa has been sharp so far at second base, too, and after hitting six homers in a September call-up, he gives the Nationals some hope he can hit double-digit homers this year. He's going to strike out a bunch, but he could add some pop at the bottom of the lineup.
The other reason for optimism in today's middle innings is Ross Detwiler, who's looked great in camp coming off a year essentially lost to surgery. He struck out three in two shutout innings today, getting through his first spring appearance with only a couple of hits. Detwiler's curveball looked good, and though I wasn't able to get a reading on his velocity, it looked to me like his fastball had more bite than it did last year. He's got a chance to impress this spring.