Second-base situation looms large for Nats

Second-base situation looms large for Nats

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are in constant discussions on what to do at second base for the 2013 season, according to a baseball source. Will it be Danny Espinosa or Steve Lombardozzi?

The team ended the season with the switch-hitting Espinosa as the starting second baseman, but he had problems from the left side of the plate, hitting .233 with 141 strikeouts. From the right side of the plate, Espinosa was much better, hitting .281 with 47 strikeouts. He is also a Gold Glove Award-caliber second baseman. There isn't any talk of Espinosa being strictly a right-handed hitter.

Lombadozzi, who is an excellent defensive infielder, was a backup player most of the season and hit .273 with an on-base percentage of .317. His playing time diminished once shortstop Ian Desmond was activated from the disabled list in August. Manager Davey Johnson has often said that Lombardozzi is not a bench player.

To prove that point, the source said the Nationals are looking for a backup middle infielder, which indicates that the team doesn't consider Espinosa or Lombardozzi future bench players.

Johnson and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo were not available for comment.