Johnson gives Espinosa mental break

Johnson gives Espinosa mental break

WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson decided to give Danny Espinosa the day off on Monday and start Stephen Lombardozzi at second base. Johnson said he wanted to give Espinosa a mental break.

Johnson feels that Espinosa is simply trying too hard. Entering Monday's action, Espinosa was 7-for-36 (.194) with a home run and four RBIs.

"He has played almost every inning under me since I've been here. I like him a lot," Johnson said. "He is mentally pressing a little bit. He is not alone. [Ryan Zimmerman] is in that category. I'm thinking about giving him a blow. It's just a mental break.

"Guys who have a [good] makeup, they try to do too much. They try to make it happen. What happens is that you expand the zone and you get yourself out more than you should."