The Washington Times - February 24, 2013, 06:19PM

VIERA, Fla. — Danny Espinosa has been testing his left shoulder and his torn rotator cuff. He’s been testing it with on-field drills, with batting practice, with work in the weight room.

And it’s all felt great. Espinosa worked throughout the offseason to strengthen the muscles around his rotator cuff to compensate for what he’s described as basically a complete tear.


But there’s always a small gap between what a player can do in practice and what it feels like to do it at game speed. The first few innings of a spring training game may not always be “game speed” but for Espinosa, he passed another test on Saturday.

“It felt normal,” Espinosa said of the three innings and one at-bat. “It felt really good, actually. I kind of did what I wanted to, I met the goal I wanted to meet.”

In his at-bat, his only one because of a 66-minute rain delay, Espinosa ground out to second base. But all he wanted to do was make contact and he accomplished that.

“I just (wanted to) put the ball in play,” he said. “It felt good to swing. It felt easy. It was probably a little lagging just because of timing but as far as being normal, it felt normal. I felt like I wasn’t swinging hard, it felt really easy which is what I wanted to feel.

“Actually I was pretty happy, even though it was a groundout I was pretty happy with it.”