Poll

What Should Happen With Espinosa?

Starts at 2B
48 (35.3%)
Replaced/Becomes Utility Player
31 (22.8%)
Ditched Completely
12 (8.8%)
Trade to Team Looking for MI
34 (25%)
DL, surgery or rest, then a month rehab in Syracuse
11 (8.1%)

Total Members Voted: 134

Author Topic: The Espinosa Question: What should happen with him?  (Read 20170 times)

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Offline nicksnats

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #50: October 27, 2012, 07:50:41 AM »
Hes going to have to get his act together quick or Lombo is going to make 2B his!

I do personally think he will be better come spring, i really like his base running and think that if he can pick his opportunities more wisely he would stay as our starting 2B.

Offline Terpfan76

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #51: October 27, 2012, 10:45:42 AM »
Espinosa deserves the same chances we gave Desi. Hell, I think from what we've learned about Desi, at least at this point anyways, he might deserve a little more leeway.

Online welch

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #52: October 29, 2012, 12:40:40 AM »
Espinosa deserves the same chances we gave Desi. Hell, I think from what we've learned about Desi, at least at this point anyways, he might deserve a little more leeway.

Espinosa struckout 189 times in 2012. He struckout about 160 or more in 2011, and I thought that was a max, but he exceeded 2011. He has been a dead K hitter since he arrived in September 2010.

Yes, give him half a season to prove that he has learned better. Then it's Lombo-time.

A story Frank Howard tells about himself. Howard went to the all-star game one year, a year when Hondo had about 45 homers, and saw Hank Aaron. "How do you do it, Hammerin Hank?"

Aaron showed Howard his bat. "I hit it there", he said, and pointed to a mark abut the size of a quarter, the only mark on the bat.

"My bat had scuffs all up and down", said Howard. "Aaron hit the ball square on the nose every single time. That's why he's in the Hall."

Espinosa must have scuffs all over, just like Hondo's bat, but Hondo could hit a line-drive so hard hat it would carry a SS's glove into LF. Pitchers would throw and duck. Howard hit the ball 500 feet.  And Frank Howard was among the biggest and strongest players of his time: 6 foot 7, 260 - 280 pounds, all muscle.  Espi is not built like Howard, or even Morse ("mini Hondo). He tries to swing like Bryce Harper, who is bigger and stronger.

If Espi just hits like he should -- meet he ball, don't pound dirt in the outside batter's box, he could be fine.

Otherwise, Lombo plays smart. He hits the way he should, given his strength, and he connects. Espine is a great fielder, but Lombo is plenty good enough.

Offline nobleisthyname

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #53: October 29, 2012, 05:37:37 PM »
The only reasoning I can see for starting Lombo over Espi is if you believe his hot August is sustainable (where he had a .361 BABIP btw). Otherwise you're downgrading defensively and on offense trading a guy with a .717 OPS for a guy with a .671 OPS. They get on base at the same rate, so you're essentially trading any hope of power for a .10-.20 more points on the batting average. I believe Linty outlined it earlier but that comes out to something like an extra hit every nine games or so.

Yes Espinosa strikes out at an ungodly rate. But trading those strikeouts for weak groundouts/popouts and zero power (not to mention the defensive downgrade) is not the answer.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #54: October 29, 2012, 08:32:13 PM »
Truth is, this is a Ginger v Maryann argument.  Some of us will like Ginger, some will like Maryann, and Copec will try to get both.

Offline WhiteWhale

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #55: October 30, 2012, 09:05:36 AM »
Truth is, this is a Ginger v Maryann argument.  Some of us will like Ginger, some will like Maryann, and Copec will try to get both.

- IF THE THREAD DIES, IT DIES.

 :P

all kidding aside, it won't die though. While JCA's post makes it seem futile to discuss (not that this was his intent, but what I took from it), it is why we discuss.

Offline Terpfan76

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #56: October 30, 2012, 12:44:45 PM »
Espinosa struckout 189 times in 2012. He struckout about 160 or more in 2011, and I thought that was a max, but he exceeded 2011. He has been a dead K hitter since he arrived in September 2010.

Yes, give him half a season to prove that he has learned better. Then it's Lombo-time.

A story Frank Howard tells about himself. Howard went to the all-star game one year, a year when Hondo had about 45 homers, and saw Hank Aaron. "How do you do it, Hammerin Hank?"

Aaron showed Howard his bat. "I hit it there", he said, and pointed to a mark abut the size of a quarter, the only mark on the bat.

"My bat had scuffs all up and down", said Howard. "Aaron hit the ball square on the nose every single time. That's why he's in the Hall."

Espinosa must have scuffs all over, just like Hondo's bat, but Hondo could hit a line-drive so hard hat it would carry a SS's glove into LF. Pitchers would throw and duck. Howard hit the ball 500 feet.  And Frank Howard was among the biggest and strongest players of his time: 6 foot 7, 260 - 280 pounds, all muscle.  Espi is not built like Howard, or even Morse ("mini Hondo). He tries to swing like Bryce Harper, who is bigger and stronger.

If Espi just hits like he should -- meet he ball, don't pound dirt in the outside batter's box, he could be fine.

Otherwise, Lombo plays smart. He hits the way he should, given his strength, and he connects. Espine is a great fielder, but Lombo is plenty good enough.

I'd still take Espi everyday over Lombo as a starter. Lombo is a damn near perfect utility guy, but everyday? I don't know about that. Espi has power and elite defensive tools not to mention being a base stealing threat. Like I said, Espi deserves every bit of the shot Desi got. He'll probably always be a high K player, but if he gets the average up and shows a little more patience at the plate, he's the superior player.

Online welch

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #57: October 30, 2012, 05:10:03 PM »
I would choose Espi as the starter if (and when?) he cuts the strikeouts and begins to hit for average rather than trying to hit home runs.

(1) Espi does not have much power anyway: 17 homers is not  eye-popping. If he hit 25 or 30 or 40, then, yes, Espi would be a power guy

(2) Is the difference in OPS significant? I'm not sure. If the Nats had a choice of .850 or .700, then likely the .850 guy is the one, assuming he hits that most years. I just don;t know if Espui's .717 is that much more helpful than Lombo's .67something.

(3) Strikeouts are death. One third of an inning. For all the reasons you might not always bunt to advance a runner to second, you should hate a strikeout. Espi struck out 190 times out of about 600 at bats...that about 30%.

(4) Lombo is a good fielder, but Espi has a better arm. If Espi doesn't improve, I think Lombo should get a long look.

Offline Terpfan76

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #58: October 30, 2012, 11:50:46 PM »
I would choose Espi as the starter if (and when?) he cuts the strikeouts and begins to hit for average rather than trying to hit home runs.

(1) Espi does not have much power anyway: 17 homers is not  eye-popping. If he hit 25 or 30 or 40, then, yes, Espi would be a power guy

(2) Is the difference in OPS significant? I'm not sure. If the Nats had a choice of .850 or .700, then likely the .850 guy is the one, assuming he hits that most years. I just don;t know if Espui's .717 is that much more helpful than Lombo's .67something.

(3) Strikeouts are death. One third of an inning. For all the reasons you might not always bunt to advance a runner to second, you should hate a strikeout. Espi struck out 190 times out of about 600 at bats...that about 30%.

(4) Lombo is a good fielder, but Espi has a better arm. If Espi doesn't improve, I think Lombo should get a long look.

Going strictly by the eye test, Espi appears to more than just a better arm. I'd hazard a guess that his range is superior, his arm is unquestionably stronger, probably the strongest in the infield. And I feel his bat has far more upside than Lombos. I like Lombo, a lot, but he seems to be more of a Shark type player. He's great in doses, but as a full time player, I think he'd get exposed much like the Shark does.

Honestly though, I couldn't care less who is the starter, or who plays what position so long as the best guy is playing it. If that guy ends up being Lombo, I'll be completely happy.

Offline hammondsnats

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #59: October 31, 2012, 12:21:02 AM »
espinosa does have potential for power, he just strikes out way too much. 

Offline mimontero88

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #60: October 31, 2012, 11:28:11 AM »
I say trade him.  Lombo is more than serviceable at that position until Anthony Rendon is major league ready.  And if Rendon doesn't develop then you still have a decent 2B who can hit for average in the 8 hole.  You probably get more value than you lose by trading Espinosa given our 2B situation.

Offline Minty Fresh

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #61: October 31, 2012, 11:31:08 AM »
I say trade him.  Lombo is more than serviceable at that position until Anthony Rendon is major league ready.  And if Rendon doesn't develop then you still have a decent 2B who can hit for average in the 8 hole.  You probably get more value than you lose by trading Espinosa given our 2B situation.

I love Danny and would be disappointed if we traded him, but this makes a crap-load of sense to me.

Online Slateman

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #62: October 31, 2012, 11:42:45 AM »
The only reasoning I can see for starting Lombo over Espi is if you believe his hot August is sustainable (where he had a .361 BABIP btw). Otherwise you're downgrading defensively and on offense trading a guy with a .717 OPS for a guy with a .671 OPS. They get on base at the same rate, so you're essentially trading any hope of power for a .10-.20 more points on the batting average. I believe Linty outlined it earlier but that comes out to something like an extra hit every nine games or so.

Yes Espinosa strikes out at an ungodly rate. But trading those strikeouts for weak groundouts/popouts and zero power (not to mention the defensive downgrade) is not the answer.

The simple solution is to platoon them

Lombardozzi against RHP: .715
Espinosa against RHP: .694
Lombardozzi against LHP: .532
Espinosa against LHP: .775


Offline Ray D

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #63: October 31, 2012, 04:05:18 PM »
The simple solution is to platoon them

The problem with platooning is that one guy gets 70+% and the other guy gets less than 30%.  Rather than keep Espinosa around to play less than 30% of the time, makes more sense to trade him.

Online Lintyfresh85

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #64: October 31, 2012, 04:23:15 PM »
It makes the most sense to keep the starting quality 2B as the starter and the utility guy as a utility guy.

If you want to situationally pinch hit with Lombo that's one thing, but making a switch for what equates to one extra hit every nine games (and likely a single, at that) while losing all the other advantages Danny has over Lombo (power, speed, defense, better eye) is short sighted and not how you win over the long haul of a season.

Certain situations warrant using Lombo over Danny, but the vast majority of the time it is to the team's benefit to play the better player, Espinosa.

Offline Once an Expos Fan

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #65: November 05, 2012, 03:06:20 PM »
Danny has all the tools to be an elite 2B in this league. We cannot give up on him just yet. Second basemen with speed, power, Gold Glove-calibre defense are what most teams dream of having.

Danny has that "it" factor. Way too soon to give up on him.

Offline hammondsnats

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #66: November 05, 2012, 07:32:02 PM »
can't spell strikeout with the letters "it"

Offline Ed Stroud

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #67: November 08, 2012, 09:36:29 AM »
Danny has all the tools to be an elite 2B in this league. We cannot give up on him just yet. Second basemen with speed, power, Gold Glove-calibre defense are what most teams dream of having.

Danny has that "it" factor. Way too soon to give up on him.

Agreed.  I really want to see what he can do in 2013 with some experience under his belt. 

Offline DPMOmaha

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #68: November 08, 2012, 09:41:46 AM »
can't spell strikeout with the letters "it"

yes you can.

Offline natstime

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #69: November 08, 2012, 01:01:55 PM »
Right now everything being considered including injurys, salary, and everything else.... what NL East second basemen would you rather have?

Utley's knees are a nightmare
Uggla is the only one you could make an agrument for but I think hes making way too much money
Donovan Solano?
Daniel Murphy is Lombo

Espinosa is fine! 

Offline wpa2629

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #70: November 08, 2012, 01:11:56 PM »
I would literally drive a stake through my skull if Dan (the butcher of baseball) Uggla takes Danny's spot

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #71: April 24, 2013, 09:16:28 AM »
Bump.

resurrecting this thread because we have some evidence of how he has started this year.  Since the last post, we learned he shortened his lefty swing in an effort to make more contact and cut back on strikes.  After some success at this in the spring, he has gotten off to a cold start.  We had a lot of concern about the shoulder in the offseason when it was learned it was hurt in September and that he would rehab it rather than get surgery.  It does not seem to have affected his fielding, which by almost all measures is still near the top of 2d basemen in the NL (small sample, but consistent with everything we've seen in the past).

We've also seen Lombo hit well in his limited appearances, Rendon get his call up, and even Zach Walters have an excellent spring.

I'm going to cross post something I put in the worst offensive performance thread:
I never dreamed that Espinosa would become a less effective hitter if he cut his K rate, but his groundball rate has jumped and a fair number of them are weak ones.  His BABIP is freaky low, by 100 points off his worst full season, but given the number of weak ground balls, I'm not sure it isn't deserved. 

I plan on doing a more detailed look at the counts he is getting into, but I'm going to guess that the only way a guy with a low contact rate cuts down his Ks is by taking fewer pitches early.  Also, I'd like to know if low contact rate guys have BABIP declines that correlate to K rate declines (the inference being that by being more aggressive and going less deep in counts, the extra swings generate more weak balls in play).

It may be the case that by shortening the swing and being more aggressive, he's robbed himself (with Davey's help) of his power tool.  I say this knowing his XBH% is high, but my sense is almost anything other than an extra base hit is a weak tapper.

Anyone who knows the numbers have some thoughts?

Online Lintyfresh85

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #72: April 24, 2013, 10:08:20 AM »
Haven't seen much of the games, but I assume that's your hypothesis would be correct.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #73: April 24, 2013, 10:14:00 AM »
What is his option situation? Lombo deserves to start- he's hitting better across the board, already has more WAR (though huge sample size problems there), and plays competent defense. If there is any validity to earning playing time or the best player plays, that's lombo right now. However, I think Espinosa needs plate appearances (and maybe an exckstein vacation) to work through whatever is wrong with him

Offline Ray D

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Re: The Espinosa Question
« Reply #74: April 24, 2013, 10:54:07 AM »
work through whatever is wrong with him

Whatever is wrong with him?  Why do we refuse to admit that he cannot hit lefthanded, and never will. That's what's wrong with him!
He has managed to develop a homerun swing from the left side and so will occasionally hit homeruns. But most often he will strike out or hit weak ground balls and pop ups.   It is too late to turn him around, he needed to learn to hit same-side pitching while growing up, it isn't something you learn once you get to the  majors.    So yes, I'm saying it is hopeless.  The good news is that there are probably a number of teams that would love to have him at shortstop. TRADE HIM!