Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa sounded pretty concerned when asked about his injured left shoulder on Sunday. But news comes this evening that the situation is not so dire.
Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that an MRI taken Monday on Espinosa’s shoulder revealed only a bone bruise and no hint of structural damge. He was given a cortisone shot and is aiming to return to the Nationals’ lineup for at least one half of Wednesday’s doubleheader with the Dodgers.
Espinosa is batting .250/.315/.407 with 16 home runs, 34 doubles, 19 stolen bases and 52 RBI through 603 plate appearances this season. Despite a National League-leading 174 strikeouts, the slick-fielding 25-year-old has played a significant role in the first-plate Nats’ 2012 success.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.
Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.
Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.