NEW YORK — Several Nationals are out for early batting practice at Citi Field this afternoon as they attempt to halt the two-game losing skid that’s followed them from Chicago. If they’re going to do it, it’ll be without second baseman Danny Espinosa in the lineup.
Espinosa was elbowed in the head Monday night by Ruben Tejada as he covered first base on Tejada’s bunt in the ninth inning. He was clearly shook up on the field but stayed in and said later he recovered after some initial dizziness. The Nationals did not plan to do any concussion testing on him and Espinosa himself reiterated manager Davey Johnson’s message that he was feeling OK.
“I just needed a second,” Espinosa said.
It may well be a convenient coincidence, then, that Espinosa is out of the lineup for Tuesday night’s game and Steve Lombardozzi will get his first start of the season. Lombardozzi is among those out for early hitting and Espinosa did poke his head out of the dugout but we’ll find out more when the clubhouse opens at 3:30.
It’s worth mentioning, though, that Espinosa didn’t miss his first game in 2011 until Sept. 2 and played in 158 of the Nationals’ 161 games.
More from the clubhouse later but here is the full lineup as Ross Detwiler makes his first start of the 2012 season:
Ian Desmond SS
Steve Lombardozzi 2B
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Adam LaRoche 1B
Jayson Werth RF
Xavier Nady LF
Roger Bernadina CF
Wilson Ramos C
Ross Detwiler P
Right-hander Dillon Gee is pitching for the Mets.