Espinosa out with chip in right wrist

Espinosa out with chip in right wrist
May 24, 2013, 5:45 pm

Espinosa has broken bone in wrist

Add another name to the long list of Nationals injuries. 

Second baseman Danny Espinosa has a loose bone chip in his right wrist and is expected to miss several days with the disabled list not out of the question. Davey Johnson said it’s related to the sore wrist that kept him out for four games in mid-April after he took a Paul Maholm pitch off his hand against the Braves.

Espinosa missed four games after being hit on April 14, but returned in the Nats’ series that weekend on April 20 against the Mets. Espinosa apparently continued to experience pain, but opted to play through it up until now.

“The problem is that it’s a broken bone,” Johnson said. “The problem is the inflammation and pain from the broken bone. I know what that’s like.”

“The best way I feel is to have him rest it for a couple of days, no hitting and no throwing, and see if he can get by the discomfort in his right wrist.”

Since returning on April 20, Espinosa has posted a .175 batting average, which is actually slightly higher than his .163 season mark. Still, the second baseman is in pain and is having trouble especially from the right side of the plate, using his right wrist to swing.

"I was thinking after a couple weeks some of it would start to go away," Espinosa said. "And before we went on the California trip, I said when we get home, I want to get it checked out again. It's not getting worse, but by no means has it gotten any better. So I wanted to get it checked out. I got it checked out yesterday and that's when we found out."

Espinosa saw a hand specialist in Baltimore on Friday morning and Johnson said the team will “probably get other opinions” before making any further decisions. For now, the prescription is simply rest and see if the pain and inflammation goes away.

Espinosa is hoping that scenario indeed plays out.

"That's what we want, so I'm not going on the 15-day or anything longer than that," he said. "They said it's not the bone fragments, it's the main bone that has a fracture or something in it. Best case would be two or three days, let it rest and do as much therapy as I can to get it healed."

Johnson said the team will likely bring up a position player from the minors on Saturday regardless of how Espinosa’s situation develops. With Ross Detwiler nearing a return, the Nats will have one extra pitcher and could better use help in the field. 

Johnson said the team will likely look past Anthony Rendon who is hitting .330 at Harrisburg. He expects Steve Lombardozzi to play in Espinosa’s place for now and the call-up will be more so for depth. Rendon was, however, not in the Senators' lineup Friday night. A Nats official said it is due to a wisdom teeth procedure.

“[Rendon] wouldn’t be in that picture right now. For me he’s not,” Johnson said. 

“And Lombo is certainly capable of playing there. The time he’s been over there he’s been doing a good job. We’ve talking about some of the guys at Syracuse. I don’t want to get into the pluses and minuses of guys over there until after today.”

Detwiler, Werth, Mattheus, and Ramos updates

Davey Johnson gave several updates on the Nationals’ other injuries, including Ross Detwiler who is still scheduled to slot back into the rotation against Baltimore on Tuesday. Detwiler threw on Thursday and is expected to have a bullpen session on Saturday in anticipation of the start. If everything goes well, he should return after missing one start due to a mild oblique strain.

“I think the big time is how he does in his pen tomorrow,” Johnson said. “I think everything so far has gone according to plan, he threw yesterday about four o'clock and didn’t have any pain. He was a little tight in that area, but other than that he threw fine.”

“Tomorrow he’ll have a regular full pen and probably do the start on Tuesday.”

Jayson Werth is still aiming for an early June return from a sore right hamstring. He aggravated the injury during a rehab appearance at Potomac on May 15. 

Johnson said Werth felt great in the days leading up to the minor league assignment. He had been sprinting, running the bases, and hitting, feeling as good as 100 percent. But as soon as he turned out of the box after hitting the ball at Potomac, he felt the hamstring pull again. Werth is now on track to return in about ten days.

“The doctor said it was two weeks,” Johnson said “He told me that four days ago, so he’s probably got close to two weeks.”

Ryan Mattheus is out at least a month after breaking his hand in San Diego while punching his locker. After seeing a hand specialist, Johnson said the reliever will not need surgery or a pin placed in his hand. 

“He’s going to be down for a couple of months with a broken hand,” Johnson said. “No need for any pins, that’s the latest I got. I’m sure we’ll have another opinion there or two, but that’s where we’re at there.”

Catcher Wilson Ramos is still recovering from a pulled left hamstring he suffered in the same series as Espinosa’s original injury. Johnson said he is still receiving treatment and working out, so far so good. The manger did acknowledge, however, Ramos will likely need a few more days beyond the 15-day stint on the disabled list before he returns.

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