Johnson: Espinosa needs to be 'comfortable' at plate

Johnson: Espinosa needs to be 'comfortable' at plate

PHILADELPHIA -- With the way Anthony Rendon has been playing with the bat and glove, it seems almost impossible that second baseman Danny Espinosa will reclaim his job at second base.

Asked if Espinosa can reclaim his job as the team's starting second baseman, manager Davey Johnson didn't answer the question, but praised Espinosa, calling him an excellent defensive player, but needed to get his hitting in order from both sides of the plate.

"We want him to be comfortable from both sides of the dish," Johnson said. "Once he does that, he could be an All-Star. It's that simple," Johnson said. "What Rendon is doing shouldn't have any bearing on what [Espinosa] is doing."

Espinosa, who is on the disabled list because of a right wrist fracture, started his rehab assignment last week for Triple-A Syracuse and was 2-for-11 with five strikeouts entering play Monday. Once the rehab assignment is over, Espinosa could be optioned to Syracuse in order to give him more time to improve his swing.

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.