Espinosa's approach paying dividends this spring

Espinosa's approach paying dividends this spring

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa has shown improvement, especially from the left side of the plate.

Entering Saturday's action against the Mets, Espinosa is 10-for-35 (.286) with two RBIs batting left-handed. Overall, he has a .316 batting average and a .350 on-base percentage.

"He is in a great frame of mind and is expressing his talent," manager Davey Johnson said. "He is not trying to do too much with the ball. He is hitting the ball where it's pitched. He is getting more comfortable about who he is."

Toward the end of last year, Espinosa struggled and was striking out frequently. It didn't help that he was playing with a torn rotator cuff.

Although he elected not to have surgery and is not in any pain, Espinosa decided to change his approach to hitting, starting in batting practice.

"I'm just trying to stay with my approach. I'm just trying to hit down on the ball, attack the ball and not fall back on my back side," Espinosa said. "I'm just sticking with my plan in batting practice -- hit hard ground balls -- so I can maintain the right path. I'm not putting on any type of display except for ground balls in BP. I feel it's gotten my swing to where I want it to be."

Although Espinosa is not displaying any power, Johnson believes the home run power will come eventually.

"He is very strong. I'm not worried about that at all," Johnson said. "Don't even bring it up to him."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.