Bill Ladson

Rizzo confident in roster, sees opportunity for NRIs

Despite injuries to key players, GM not planning on making moves before Opening Day

Rizzo confident in roster, sees opportunity for NRIs

VIERA, Fla. -- Even though the Nationals are faced with their share of injuries, general manager Mike Rizzo said he is satisfied with the roster he has in place, and he doesn't see himself making trades before the start of Opening Day.

"Things could be worse," Rizzo said. "Like I've always said, 'One man's injury is another man's opportunity.' We expect all those guys back in pretty quick order. We're not too down about it. It's nice to have your full complement of guys on the first days of the season, but to get them soon thereafter will be fine."

Rizzo said his most pleasant surprises this spring are the non-roster invitees who signed Minor League contracts with the club. Clint Robinson, Dan Uggla, Ian Stewart and Tony Gwynn Jr. are having great Grapefruit League campaigns and have a chance to make the 25-man roster because of injuries to Denard Span, Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth.

"All the players are still in the running to make the club," Rizzo said. "We have a group of guys that [have played well]. I think those type of guys -- the Gwynns and the Clint Robinsons and the Stewarts and the Dan Ugglas -- those are the guys we focused in on most, and [they have played very well]."

Rizzo also had praise for infielder Danny Espinosa. Rizzo said Espinosa can play any defensive position, and that he has made the adjustments as a right-handed hitter. Espinosa, who is able to switch-hit, will bat only from the right side this season.

"[Espinosa's] stroke -- right-on-right -- has been very good," Rizzo said. "I think he has come a long way. We saw what we thought we would see -- his improved bat speed and a guy that could really drive the ball. He is a top-hand dominated hitter. He is getting comfortable each and every day."

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