Espinosa is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Giants, MASN's Dan Kolko reports. Espinosa will head to the bench after starting 12 straight coming out of the break, affording Wilmer Difo his first start with the big club this season. The 29-year-old Espinosa's been mired in a miserable slump, going 5-for-44 (.114 average) with 18 strikeouts to begin the second half, but his playing time appears relatively safe for now with Trea Turner taking on a significant role in center field.
Espinosa is out of the lineup Wednesday, MASN's Dan Kolko reports. He has continued to shine at the dish of late, with five homers in his last six games. Not only is he holding the Nationals' presumed shortstop of the future, Trea Turner, at bay in Triple-A, but Turner has actually started playing some center field, suggesting Espinosa could hold regular playing time through the rest of the season, provided he continues to produce. Stephen Drew will start at shortstop and hit seventh Wednesday.
Espinosa went 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI in Sunday's blowout win over the Red The shortstop destroyed Cincinnati pitching over course of their four-game series, going 7-for-18 (.389) with five homers and 15 RBI, and Espinosa's hot streak not only gives him 18 home runs on the season it also puts him in the team HR lead, one ahead of Bryce Harper. Espinosa's previous career high is 21 HR in a season, but at this rate he could pass that mark before the All-Star break.
Espinosa went 2-for-4 with two home runs, including a grand slam, and a career-high seven RBI in Thursday's hammering of the Reds. Espinosa's second career slam put Washington up 8-1 in the third inning, and his next drive made it 13-1 in the fourth. He ranks second on the team with 15 homers despite usually batting eighth. The switch-hitting shortstop connected off Brandon Finnegan (3-7) batting right-handed, then went deep from the left side against Josh Smith. Espinosa's previous career high for RBI was six, and his only other grand slam came in his fifth major league game on Sept. 6, 2010. With a solid June, he's pushed his average up to .235, the highest its been since the fourth game of the season.
Espinosa went 3-for-5 with a double, a run, two RBI and a steal Monday against the Mets. Espinosa looked refreshed following Sunday's day off, picking up his sixth multi-hit performance in the last three weeks. The shortstop has earned his every-day lineup spot with a surprisingly productive bat, as he's already just three short of last season's total of 37 RBI to go along with an identical 13 homers in 43 less games played.