MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nats could keep Espinosa on right side of plate

Switch-hitting second baseman has struggled mightily as a lefty; club could create platoon

Nats could keep Espinosa on right side of plate

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are seriously considering making second baseman Danny Espinosa exclusively a right-handed hitter, MLB.com has learned.

Espinosa struggled mightily from the left side of the plate this past season, hitting .183 with 97 strikeouts in 249 at-bats. But he flourished from the right side, going 31-for-115 (.301) with three home runs and 10 RBIs. Espinosa also struggled mightily as a left-handed hitter in 2013 and spent most of that year in the Minor Leagues. One could understand why Espinosa's days as a switch-hitter could be over.

Espinosa has never faced a right-handed pitcher from the right side of the plate. If the Nationals decide to let Espinosa swing right-handed exclusively, they could try to acquire a left-handed-hitting second baseman to platoon with Espinosa. If not, the Nationals will be working hard to help him become a better hitter from the left side -- if he remains a switch-hitter.

Espinosa is also a Gold Glove-caliber second baseman. He is also the backup shortstop whenever Ian Desmond is not in the lineup.

Asdrubal Cabrera was the everyday second baseman after he was acquired from the Indians before the non-waiver Trade Deadline this past season, but he is not expected to be back in 2015. Cabrera is a free agent and is expected to land a big contract this offseason.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.