Danny Espinosa is in The Best Shape Of His Life, regrets playing through injury

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We have a new member of the BSOHL club and his name is Danny Espinosa.

During an appearance at NatsFest today, Espinosa told Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com that he hired a personal trainer this offseason and feels stronger now than he’s ever felt. However, there was an interesting quote among the typical offseason hyperbole, as Espinosa also said that he regrets playing through a broken wrist last season:

“I shouldn’t have [played]. But at the same time, I’m not the doctor reading the film. So yea, I shouldn’t have been playing on a broken wrist the whole year. Like I said, if you’re told you have a bruise, you play through a bruise. Everybody plays through bumps and bruises. I wouldn’t have played if I knew I had a broken wrist. I shouldn’t have been playing at all.”

Espinosa injured his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch in mid-April last year, but the Nationals kept putting him out there and he hit just .158/.193/.272 with three homers and a 47/4 K/BB ratio through 167 plate appearances prior to landing on the disabled list in early June. The 26-year-old returned to game action within two weeks with Triple-A Syracuse, but he struggled to the tune of a .216/.280/.286 batting line in 75 games and wasn’t recalled when rosters expanded in September.

Now that he’s apparently back to full health, Espinosa has been told by general manager Mike Rizzo and new manager Matt Williams that he’ll have a chance to win the starting second base job back during spring training. Anthony Rendon, who hit .265/.329/.396 in 98 games as a rookie last year, will obviously have something to say about that.

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.

Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.

Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.

Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.