Lombardozzi to start at second base for rest of Braves series (with Werth note)

ATLANTA - Danny Espinosa struggled offensively during the month of April, batting .173 with a .212 on-base percentage.

When the Nationals open their May schedule tonight against the Braves, Steve Lombardozzi will be their starting second baseman and Espinosa will be on the bench.

Nats manager Davey Johnson said during an appearance on 106.7 The Fan this morning that he plans to start Lombardozzi at second base for the final two games of the Nationals’ series against the Braves.

“(Espinosa’s) a very gifted fielder, he’s unbelievable,” Johnson told The Junkies. “And he has tremendous bat potential. He’s one that I think tries to do too much. He’s more of a swinger than he is a hitter. But both of them... Lombo’s got a lot of potential, too. I’ve kind of been using him as a left fielder, third baseman, playing him out of position. But I’m gonna play him the next couple days and give him a chance.

“Lombo, he’s pretty good at getting on base, and that’s what we’re missing right now.”

Espinosa has gone 2-for-16 with seven strikeouts and one walk since being moved into the No. 2 spot in the order four games ago.

Lombardozzi is batting .244 with a .262 on-base percentage this season. He started four games at second base when Espinosa missed time with a bruised wrist and also got two starts at third base in place of the injured Ryan Zimmerman.

General manager Mike Rizzo also made an appearance on The Fan today, and said that while Jayson Werth likely won’t need to miss much more time due to a sore left ankle and hamstring cramps, Werth likely won’t be in the lineup tonight.

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