Nats Notes: The Nationals Middle Infield Starts Slow

DC Sports Nexus ---- Friday, April 5, 2013

The Nationals are off to a 3-0 start and are currently the only undefeated team left in Major League Baseball.  The pitching staff has been wonderful, the bullpen solid, the defense staunch, and the offense not so terrible.

However, lost in some of the excitement has been the slow start of the Washington Nationals middle infield, their 6th and 7th spot in the lineup, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa.

The two are a combined 1-21 with 6 strikeouts.  They have been on base only 3 times (a walk and an infield hustle single by Desmond, and an error to get Espinosa on base).

It is hard to remember that far back, but Ian Desmond was actually the Nats opening day leadoff hitter to start the 2012 season.  He batted in the opening slot for almost 40 games.  The Silver Slugger award winner had a hit in 7 of his first 8 games in 2012, starting the season off hot with 14 hits in those opening contests.

Espinosa was 3rd in the Majors with 189 K's last season (you can count em' thats all 189)

Espinosa had a hit in 9 of the first 13 games in 2012 including an nice little 6 game hitting streak in there.  After that he crashed. By May he was hitting under .200 for the season.  But Davey Johnson stuck with him and by the end of the season his average was up to .247.  (He also was third in the MLB in strikeouts with 189.)

Ian Desmond should be fine.  The guy won the Silver Slugger last year and had a breakout season.  As for Espinosa, Davey Johnson will stick with him again...but this season he knows that he's got a reliable guy named Steve Lombardozzi waiting in the wings...

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