The Washington Nationals are thinking about recalling Danny Espinosa from Triple-A when rosters expand on Sunday, but are also looking to trade the struggling second baseman, reports Bill Ladson of MLB.com.
The Nats are deciding between Espinosa and 23-year-old Zach Walters for the back-up infielder spot when rosters expand on Sept. 1. Walters strikes out a ton and struggles to get on base as a respectable clip, much like Espinosa, but his 29 home runs this year are hard to overlook. If Walters gets the call this weekend then the trade talk for Espinosa could heat up.
Espinosa, still just 26, was sent down to Syracuse in June after a miserable first two months with the big-league club. The Nats were hopeful that their Opening Day second baseman could turn things around with some time in the minors, but his problems have only gotten worse at the season has gone on.
The switch-hitting infielder is batting just .208/.271/.283 with just two home runs and 97 strikeouts in 70 games at Syracuse. The gap power that helped Espinosa wallop 38 big flies between 2011 and 2012 has completely disappeared, making his proclivity for strikeouts a much larger problem.
Espinosa's agent, Scott Boras, believes that the infielder still possesses the skills to be an MLB second baseman, and thinks that other teams believe the same thing:
"The Danny that we all know has the Major League tools ... Every park that I go into will ask me about Danny. They want to know what he is doing. So the guy has real value.
"The thing he has to go through is get an approach that will help him become very consistent [at the plate]."
Espinosa has been hampered by wrist and thumb woes this season, but the big culprit may be the rotator cuff tear he suffered last season. Rather than go under the knife to fix the tear over the winter, Espinosa decided to rehab his shoulder sans operation, which may provide some explanation for his complete power outage this year.