Danny Espinosa only has a bone bruise and is hoping to return to action Wednesday

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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.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.

This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:

“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.  Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires.  We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”

That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.