MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Espinosa to hit exclusively right-handed

Former switch-hitter has not seen as much success from left side of the plate

Espinosa to hit exclusively right-handed

WASHINGTON -- Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa has decided to give up switch-hitting for the time being, and he will hit right-handed exclusively during Spring Training, two baseball sources confirmed to MLB.com on Tuesday.

A switch-hitter since he entered the big leagues in 2010, Espinosa has had much better success from the right side of the plate. During his career, Espinosa has a .271 batting average and a .343 on-base percentage hitting from the right side (against left-handers), as opposed to a .213 batting average and a .284 on-base percentage hitting from the left (against righties).

Espinosa has only had 13 career at-bats against right-handed pitching from the right side of the plate. According to one source, Espinosa is expected to get extra work during Spring Training to get used to breaking balls thrown by righties.

Last year, Espinosa had arguably his best season batting right-handed, hitting .301 with three home runs, 10 RBIs and a .374 on-base percentage, but he went 42-for-230 (.183) with 97 strikeouts hitting left-handed.

Espinosa will play spring games both with the Nationals and their Minor League clubs in order to get accustomed to right-handed pitching.

Espinosa is also a Gold Glove-caliber second baseman, but he will likely start the season as the team's backup to second baseman Yunel Escobar and shortstop Ian Desmond.

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.