PITTSBURGH -- Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa continues to struggle at the plate. Entering Wednesday's action against the Pirates, Espinosa is 19-for-102 (.186) with a home run and two RBIs, and leads the team in strikeouts with 37.
Manager Davey Johnson admitted that he is concerned about Espinosa because he is swinging at too many pitches out of the strike zone. But it doesn't change the fact that Johnson believes Espinosa is still a talented player. Johnson doesn't have any intentions of benching Espinosa.
"He is chasing balls that are not in his comfort zone," Johnson said. "That's when you start pressing. I've had a lot of conversations with Danny, but I think he is an unbelievable talent. If anybody is going to break any records that I set [Johnson's 43 home runs in 1973 is the all-time record for a second baseman in a single season], he would probably be one of them.
"I told him, 'I have higher expectations of you than you probably do. And he said, 'No, that's not true.' I know he has the confidence, I know he has the ability. I's just a matter of time."
After Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Pirates, in which he struck out three times, Espinosa decided he needed to clear his head and not think about the past.
Espinosa realized he was beating himself up mentally. He says all he needs to do is just see the ball. He has been overthinking too much about the mechanical parts of hitting.
"I just said, 'I can get it done, too. I'm too talented to not get it done,'" Espinosa said.