When D.C. GM Mike Rizzo was asked about the health of Nats' second baseman Danny Espinosa and outfielder Michael Morse this morning on The Mike Rizzo Show he told 106.7 the FAN In DC's hosts Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier that the 25-year-old infielder and the 30-year-old sluggers were, "... both healty and ready to roll." Talking about Espinosa, in particular, the Nationals' general manager said, "Danny? You can't get Danny Espinosa out of the lineup no matter what, so we stopped trying." An MRI a little over a week back revealed a bone bruise in the capsule of his left shoulder which Espinosa said he had injured on a diving play in a September 8th game against Miami. Espinosa received a shot in the shoulder that provided some relief. "He's swinging the bat extremely well," the Nats' GM said this morning, "Much better in the last couple of weeks since he got that shot."
When this afternoon's lineup was announced, however, Espinosa's name was not penciled in at second:
Tonight's lineup: Werth, rf; Harper, cf; Zimmerman, 3b; LaRoche, 1b; Morse, lf; Desmond, ss; Lombardozzi, 2b; Suzuki, c; Lannan, p.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) September 26, 2012
According to Tweets from the Nationals' clubhouse in Citizens Bank Park, the decision came as a surprise to Espinosa:
Espinosa doesn't know why Davey didn't put him in lineup. "I feel 100 percent. That's his decision. Go ask him. I'd like to know too."— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) September 26, 2012
Danny Espinosa says he's "100 percent." Says to ask Davey why he's out "because I'd like to know, too."— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) September 26, 2012
Danny Espinosa said he feels 100 percent. Had no idea why he was off. "Ask Davey. It's his decision, so go ask him."— Amanda Comak (@acomak) September 26, 2012
Davey Johnson's set to speak to the press soon, so there will surely be more info on the decision to sit Espinosa down tonight in the second game of three in CBP. Over his last 10 games, the Nats' infielder is 8 for 30 with three doubles, four walks and 11 Ks in his last 34 PAs.
• Letting Teddy Win?: It's bad enough that someone actually asked about this in a Presidential press conference. Now US New and World Report has breaking news on the Presidents Race... Van Dyke Parks would call this tee-djus:
BREAKING: Teddy will likely win the presidents race during the final Nats game of the season bit.ly/P6giQ3— U.S.News&WorldReport (@usnews) September 26, 2012
• BTW: The Presidents Race also came up this morning in an interview I did with a Philly-based station for the show From The Phans. You can listen to the interview HERE.