LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Nationals are looking to acquire a middle infielder, but, according to a baseball source, they are going to give Danny Espinosa every chance to make the team as a backup infielder. He could spell infielders Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon.
However, a big league talent evaluator believes that Espinosa is not up to the task. The evaluator pointed out that Espinosa is excellent with the glove but hasn't made any improvements with the bat. Espinosa strikes out a lot and it was one of the reasons he spent most of the 2013 season in the Minor Leagues.
"The Nationals may want to try him as a backup, but he is too inconsistent at the plate," the talent evaluator said. "He is not going to give you much offense if he is not playing every day. It's hard for a young guy to sit on the bench when he feels as though they should be an everyday player."
In 2011, Espinosa hit a career-high 21 home runs, and the talent evaluator believes that number got to his head.
"He has that long upper-cut swing," the talent evaluator said. "He has to shorten his swing in order to make more contact. He has to realize that the pitchers can tell what his weaknesses are. They don't have to throw him a strike to get him out. He doesn't make consistent contact. He has to realize that the pitchers have made an adjustment and he has to make an adjustment. He has made no adjustments since he has been in the big leagues."
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.