Nationals may ask Danny Espinosa to give up switch-hitting

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Danny Espinosa has been a mess for the past two seasons, going from starting second baseman to bench player for the Nationals while hitting just .199 in 158 total games.

And now the Nationals are thinking about asking the 28-year-old to give up switch-hitting, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com.

For his career Espinosa has hit .271 with an .804 OPS as a right-handed hitter against left-handed pitching, compared to .213 with a .646 OPS as a left-handed hitter against right-handed pitching.

Of course, it’s not always as simple as those numbers suggest because switch-hitters get about two-thirds of their playing time versus right-handed pitchers and Espinosa has almost zero experience facing righties as a righty.

With that said, at this point it probably can’t hurt to see if Espinosa can learn how to hit reasonably well from the right side full time. His days as a switch-hitting regular are probably gone for good anyway, at least in Washington.

Phillies, J.T. Realmuto working on a long term deal

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies “are quietly trying to hammer out” a contract extension with J.T. Realmuto. He says it may take some time to be done — nothing is imminent — but that the sides are working on it.

Realmuto still has one final year of arbitration, and he’s likely to get $10 million or more for 2020 if nothing is done. It sounds as though he and the Phillies are both eager to cement a long term pact, however, that’ll keep him from hitting the free agent market next winter. Salisbury says the deal, once reached, could be for 4-5 years and $20+ million per season. He says an extension would likely not kick in until 2021. He and the club would agree to a separate one-year deal to cover 2020.

Realmuto, who is considered by most to be the top all-around catcher in the game at the moment, will turn 29 before the beginning of the 2020 season. He hit .275/.328/.493 with 25 homers and 83 driven in this past season, winning the Silver Slugger Award and a Gold Glove.