Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters -- including Ian McCue of MLB.com -- that second baseman Danny Espinosa is expected to make his first minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse today.
The Nationals placed Espinosa on the disabled list earlier this month, as he was dealing with rotator cuff and wrist injuries. He played through his shoulder ailment, but his broken right wrist ultimately landed him on the DL.
Johnson told reporters that Espinosa will begin a rehab schedule that will see him play three innings in one game, five innings the next and seven for his final contest.
After hitting the DL, Espinosa continued facing problems with his shoulder. He was diagnosed with the torn rotator cuff last year, but he elected to rehab and play through it rather than undergo surgery. A recent MRI on the shoulder showed damage, but it wasn't new damage in addition to the wearing the Nationals were already aware of. At this point, Espinosa still has no plans of undergoing shoulder surgery during the season.
It's admirable to play through an injury, but Espinosa's ailments have clearly impacted his performance this season. The 26-year-old hit only .158/.193/.272 over 167 plate appearances prior to his stint on the DL. In his absence, the Nationals have used top prospect Anthony Rendon at second base.
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