Danny Espinosa is generally considered one of the toughest players on the Nationals, a guy who has played through bumps and bruises the size of watermelons, manager Matt Williams likes to say.
So, when Espinosa goes down with an injury, you can bet it's something relatively serious. The Nats infielder, who has not played since Sept. 17, was diagnosed with a tear in his right hamstring after receiving an MRI on Tuesday.
"He's got a tear in his attachment in his right hamstring. It's gotten better, but tests confirmed today that he's got a little tear in there. So, we're going to have to be cautious with him, for sure," Williams said.
Exactly how long Espinosa will be sidelined has not been specified by the Nationals, but one has to wonder how much of him we will see with only 13 games remaining on the schedule and the potential for playoff elimination growing by the day.
Espinosa's hamstring has improved since he first hurt it on Sept. 14 in a game against the Phillies. But even using him as a pinch-hitter right now is unlikely.
"It's an injury that even if you're pinch-hitting, you can damage," Williams explained. "Getting out the box, getting a double, whatever it is. We'll have to have the doc read it when he gets here today again and give us his thoughts. But he's got a little bit of a tear in there."
Williams said the potential for surgery this offseason has not been discussed, but making sure it does not get worse is a big priority.
"We'll have to see how he reacts. He's reacted well to all the treatment. We'll go from there. That will be an everyday thing," Williams said.
Espinosa is hitting .240/.311/.409 with 13 homers and 37 RBI in 118 games this season.