Wire Taps: Nationals' 2B Danny Espinosa left w/ sore right knee; Nats have Monday off

Greg Fiume

Seeing Danny Espinosa go down after getting hit in the knee by a pitch was not pleasant, one wouldn't blame Washington Nationals for holding their breath with all the injuries already this season and the history of how a HBP impacted his 2013 campaign.

Danny Espinosa was 0 for 1 with a hit by pitch and a backwards K in two plate appearances on Sunday before he was double-switched out of the series finale with the San Diego Padres after four innings when Matt Williams went to Washington's bullpen to replace starter Taylor Jordan, who was sick and done for the day.

Espinosa went 10 for 38 on the Nationals' homestand with two home runs, two walks and 10 Ks in 11 games.

Through 24 games, the 27-year-old, '08 Nationals' 3rd Round pick has a .278/.338/.458 line with five doubles, a triple and two home runs in 78 plate appearances.

"It started to swell and his spot was the spot when we had to get Taylor out of there, so it was the logical thing to do." - Matt Williams on Danny Espinosa leaving Sunday's game early

In Espinosa's first at bat in the bottom of the second he was hit on the right knee by a 1-2 slider from Padres' right-hander Ian Kennedy.

He didn't move out of the way of the pitch, instead taking it on his front, right, knee before going down to the ground in the batters' box. The Nationals' trainers and Manager Matt Williams came out to check on Espinosa, who was slow to get up, but did. He took second on a wild pitch in the next at bat, but was stranded there.

"Espinosa took the ball off the knee cap," Williams said after the game. "It started to swell and his spot was the spot when we had to get Taylor out of there, so it was the logical thing to do. He made the last out of that inning, Taylor wasn't going to be able to go any further so we thought we'd double-switch there."


Williams was asked if he talked to Espinosa about the knee when the Nats' skipper met with reporters after Sunday's game.

"Not yet," Williams said. "But he played okay. I don't see that there is any issue. I haven't talked to [Trainer] Lee [Kuntz] yet though."

Espinosa told reporters, including the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, that he was happy to have the day off today so he can rest up for Tuesday.

"'That will be huge,'" Espinosa told the WaPost Nats beat reporter. "'I have a feeling if I had to go tomorrow, I would do it, but it wouldn’t be easy.'"

If Espinosa were unavailable... Zach Walters at third and Anthony Rendon at second? We'll find out if Espi's good to go Tuesday.

Until then, links and lots of them... starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "As he nears his expected return to the majors, Doug Fister made the first of two anticipated minor league rehab starts on Sunday..." - "Doug Fister pleased with first rehab start" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Fister told reporters afterward that he had good location and spring training velocity. A source at the stadium told me Fister 'looked pretty good for his first outing.'" - "Fister pitches four innings in first rehab start for Potomac (updated with Williams, Fister comments)" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez feels good enough to pitch against the Astros on Tuesday night in Houston." - "Washington Nationals at Houston Astros - April 29, 2014" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com Preview

• "The Nationals hooked Jordan after allowing a run through four innings on three hits and two walks." - "Nats’ Taylor Jordan, Danny Espinosa leave game in fifth inning" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "For the four innings Taylor Jordan lasted Sunday afternoon, alarm overtook effectiveness." - "Nationals vs. Padres: Taylor Jordan leaves early in Washington’s 4-2 loss" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "The Nats don't think Espinosa's knee injury is anything too severe, and today's off-day will allow him to rest up..." - "Nationals Pastime: Some off-day talk" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Espinosa said he would see how he feels Tuesday, but he assumed he would be able to play." - "Danny Espinosa dealing with soreness, swelling in knee" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Jordan was sitting down with his head in his hands as reporters arrived for postgame interviews." - "Matt Williams on Jordan's fever, Espinosa's knee and his relievers" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "If things go well, Hairston will go to Triple-A Syracuse and start his rehab assignment later in the week." - "Hairston on track for Triple-A rehab assignment" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Harper becomes the fourth player -- joining Wilson Ramos, Ryan Zimmerman and Scott Hairston -- to be placed on the DL this month by the Nationals." - "Nationals lose Bryce Harper to disabled list with thumb sprain" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Taylor Jordan was pitching well through four innings for the Nationals, but was removed from the game after only 63 pitches." - "Instant Analysis: Padres 4, Nats 2" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "Detwiler said he felt fine in the bullpen before the game, but once he took the mound he didn’t have a good feel for his pitches." - "Detwiler, Barrett take blame for Nationals’ loss to Padres" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "In the dead of winter, Nate McLouth seemed like a luxury." - "It’s time for Nate McLouth’s closeup" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

•"Fister is working his way back from a right lat strain that has kept him on the disabled list since the beginning of the season." -  "Doug Fister pitches four innings in rehab start with Potomac Nationals" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Left-hander Ross Detwiler replaced Jordan, and he had his own problems on the mound starting in the fifth inning." - "San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals - April 27, 2014" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "Bryce Harper has been placed on the DL with a thumb injury and there may be ligament damage." - "MLB injury, news and rumor roundup for April 27" - Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com

• "All told, Kennedy allowed three hits over seven innings with no walks and nine strikeouts." - "San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals - April 27, 2014" - Corey Block, MLB.com SD Recap

• "The game didn’t go any better for the Nationals, who got just five hits in a 4-2 loss to Ian Kennedy and the San Diego Padres." - "Tough day for Nationals in 4-2 loss to Padres" - Kevin Dunleavy, Washington Times

• "In Sunday’s 4-2 victory for the Padres, in his first major league at-bat in nearly 11 months, Cameron Maybin waited for the right pitch." - "Kennedy, Maybin help Padres to 4-2 win" - Dennis Lin, UTSanDiego.com

• "Admittedly, there’s an element of irony that Harper landed on the disabled list for a hustle play." - "Nats have to roll with Bryce Harper's injury" - Christina Karl, SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

• "Fister struck out three and allowed three unearned runs. He threw 59 pitches, 42 for strikes." - "Doug Fister of Washington Nationals 'felt strong' after first rehab start" - ESPN

•"The latest information on Bryce Harper's thumb injury is not encouraging for the Washington Nationals." - "Bryce Harper placed on DL, Nationals fear ligament damage in injured thumb" - Mark Townsend, Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports

• "Manager Brad Ausmus sees something in Krol that suggests that won't necessarily be true going forward." - "Brad Ausmus believes Ian Krol can be effective against right-handed hitters despite numbers so far" - Chris Iott, MLive.com

• NATS MINORS:

• "Nationals outfield prospect Michael Taylor on Sunday decided to play both roles, catalyst and bopper, for the Harrisburg Senators in the Double-A Eastern League." - "Nationals prospect Michael Taylor has three-home run game" - Jonathan Mayo, nationals.com: News

• "Monday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "The Fister acquisition was the Nationals’ biggest of the offseason and Fister’s injury was the first in a parade of early injuries for the big club." - "Fister has positive outing for Potomac" - INSIDENOVA.COM: Prince William

• "In the Chiefs past 10 games, Goodwin has batted just .216. One of the fastest men in the clubs’ system, he’s stolen just two bags all season long." - "Washington Nationals: Week of April 27 Minor League, Prospect Report" - Brian Skinnell, District Sports Page

• "Ranked in the offseason by Baseball America as the Nats' No. 25 prospect, [Mooneyham], the 2012 draft pick out of Stanford is holding foes to a .197 batting average..." - "Is Robbie Ray headed to Detroit Tigers' rotation? Plus Danny Espinosa is back: Senators/Nationals glance" - Geoff Morrow, PennLive.com

• "And while his batting average for the week doesn't jump out at you, Michael Taylor made Senators history Sunday..." - "Three-homer game propels Michael Taylor to Harrisburg Senators' Player of the Week honors" - Geoff Morrow, PennLive.com


• "Among the goals Doug Fister wanted to check off during his first rehabilitation start was to be able to throw his breaking ball without feeling any discomfort." - "Notebook: Fister solid in first rehab start for P-Nats" - NewsAdvance.com

• "Principals of the Silver Cos., Diamond Nation and the Hagerstown Suns have been working on getting the budget to an affordable level for the past several months." - "Stadium budget stalling process" - Fredericksburg.com

• "RHP Lucas Giolito started for the Suns and went 4.1 innings, surrendering two earned runs on three hits and three walks while striking out four." - "Suns sweep 4-game set in West Virginia" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News

• "Washington Nationals RHP Doug Fister made a rehabilitation start while nursing a strained right lat. This was Fister's first-ever regular season appearance for a Washington Nationals affiliate." - "Fister Rehabs and P-Nats Clinch 6-5 Walk-Off Win Over Hillcats" - Potomac Nationals News

• "Those runs were the only blemish against Tatusko, who threw six innings for the third consecutive start." - "Indians edge Tatusko, Chiefs on Sunday" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• NATSTOWN:

• "The one certainty is that anything can happen, so we should enjoy Roark's ride, no matter where it takes him and the Nationals." - "Nationals Buzz: Marty Niland: Guys like Roark, who come out of nowhere, are what's great about baseball" - Marty Niland, MASNSports.com

• "Taylor Jordan battled flu-like symptoms, the team could not get its offense going, and the bullpen struggled..." - "Nationals Manage Only Five Hits In Loss To Padres" - Nick Fineman, The Nats Blog

• "Taylor Jordan battled flu-like symptoms, the team could not get its offense going, and the bullpen struggled..." - "Nationals Manage Only Five Hits In Loss To Padres" - Nick Fineman, The Nats Blog

• "The Nationals racing presidents were decked out in their Sunday finest for the final game of the team’s homestand this afternoon at Nationals Park..." - "Video: Teddy Roosevelt wins his fourth race" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "Nate McLouth hit his first homer with Washington to lead off the eighth April 27. That cut the lead, 4-2, but the Nats did not score again..." - "Nationals Fall In Finale For Series Split With Padres" - David Driver, Press Box DC

• "I can't believe I'm calling for Detwiler but I'm calling for Detwiler." - "Monday Super Duper Quickie" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Minor League Age Appropropriateness for 2014" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies: "A.J. Burnett finished off a successful West coast road trip for the Phillies with eight shutout innings against the Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon." - "How A.J. Burnett Got His Groove Back" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

Mets: "Mets players only spoke to the media when a writer who took a shot at the pitcher's weight left the clubhouse." - "Mets protest Bartolo Colon fat joke by refusing to speak to media after game " - Charles Curtis, NJ.com

Marlins: "Rafael Furcal doesn’t look like he’s going to be returning to the Marlins anytime soon." - "NEW YORK: Miami Marlins cut Rafael Furcal’s rehab assignment short" - Manny Navarro, MiamiHerald.com

Braves: "The last time Jose Fernandez and Alex Wood squared off, on April 22 at Turner Field, they took part in a pitchers' duel for the ages." - "Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins - April 29, 2014" - Joe Morgan and Joe Frisaro, MLB.com Preview

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