WASHINGTON (AP) Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa says he played with a torn rotator cuff in his left, non-throwing, shoulder late last season.
The switch-hitter decided not to have offseason surgery and instead rehab the injury. He spoke to reporters Saturday at a Nationals fan festival.
Espinosa was hurt when he dived for a ball in a game in early September. On Sept. 17, Espinosa got a cortisone shot to relieve the pain. The next day, he said he had a bone bruise in his shoulder socket.
He hit .247 with 17 homers, 56 RBIs and 189 strikeouts for the NL East champions in 2012. But over the team's last 20 regular-season games, Espinosa batted only .188. Then he was 1 for 15 in Washington's division series loss to St. Louis.
After winning their first-ever World Series title, the Nationals visited the White House to meet with President Donald Trump to celebrate the victory.
But recently, General Manager Mike Rizzo has clarified why the team made the trip. Many have accused the team of making a political statement with the visit, and Kurt Suzuki donned a Make America Great Again hat during his speech at the podium.
“We weren’t trying to make a political statement, whatsoever,’’ Rizzo told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. “We just thought that the honor and the tradition of champions being invited to the White House and the office of the president, and especially us being the hometown team in their backyard two miles away from the capital, is something that should be done."
Rizzo also clarified that each player had a choice on whether or not they wanted to visit. Sean Doolittle and a host of others opted out of the visit.
"Obviously, each player could make their own decision whether they wanted to attend, but most of the players were excited by it," Rizzo said. “The office of the president is something that we respect. We felt we should be there. We also felt we should do it with everyone still in town there, or not do it at all."
Rizzo explained that he has voted for Democrats and Republicans in the past, and that there was no way to win in this situation when it came to visiting the White House.
“You’re in a situation where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t," Rizzo noted. "I don’t have a political bone in my body. I vote for who I want. I don’t care what the party is. I vote every election. I’m listed as an Independent. My dad was a city worker in the city of Chicago for 45 years. We voted Democrat for the [Richard] Daleys a lot. I voted Republican sometimes."
MORE NATIONALS NEWS:
The Nationals may have won the World Series less than two weeks ago, but it's officially time to stop partying.
Major League Baseball's free agency is upon us, and the Nationals, like all of the other 29 teams, have significant moves to make regarding their future in the coming weeks and months.
Houston's Gerrit Cole, Washington's Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg highlight a free agent class not as loaded as a year ago, but still has plenty of difference-makers available.
Below is our Hot Stove Tracker.
2019 MLB Hot Stove Free Agency Tracker:
Nov. 4: Red Sox Designated Hitter J.D. Martinez will not opt-out of the remaining three years, $62.5 million deal, Jon Heyman reports. Martinez still can exercise an opt-out following both the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Nov. 4: Tyler Flowers has re-signed with the Braves on a $4 million deal, Jon Heyman reports.
Nov. 4: The Braves declined a $6 million option on outfielder Nick Markakis, but have re-signed him on a $4 million deal, Jon Heyman reports.