- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
HARRIS: Danny Espinosa needs to have shoulder surgery now
Question of the Day
Here’s a correction for you, about four months late:
Before exhibition games started in spring training, we did a column discussing Danny Espinosa’s torn rotator cuff and his plan to play through the injury. We called it a small red flag.
Massive red flag, and it should have been dealt with as soon as the tear was discovered.
No, I’m not a doctor. No, I don’t play one on TV. No, I didn’t stay at a particular hotel last night. No, I don’t claim to be smarter than people who are medically trained.
But have we ever seen a torn muscle heal? No. It may not get worse. It does not get better. Ryan Zimmerman’s did not get better several years back. Adam LaRoche’s did not get better two years ago. Danny Espinosa’s was not going to get better and, even though he’d strengthened the shoulder to where he thought he could play through it, doing so was not sound advice.
Got a torn muscle? Have surgery. Right now.
More than two months into the season, the Nationals finally placed Espinosa on the disabled list Tuesday. It was one of a flurry of moves the team needed to make, mostly with its pitching staff, as it attempts to regain some of its luster lost in a 28-29 start.
Espinosa was disabled for a wrist injury, suffered way back in April when he was hit by a pitch from Atlanta’s Paul Maholm. It may have as much to do with his miserable start — a .158 batting average — as his shoulder. But you can’t help but wonder if the shoulder isn’t a large part of it, too. A torn rotator cuff hurts and, no matter how much you strengthen the shoulder, it can’t be comfortable playing with one.
If he’d opted for the surgery, he wouldn’t have been playing in April. But that’s a chicken-egg argument that does no good. The point is, the surgery should have been done as soon as the tear was discovered. It has to be done eventually. Why wait?
Espinosa said in February he wanted to avoid surgery when the injury was discovered because doing so would have cost him the first month of this season. Espinosa is what is often called a “gamer,” someone who wants to play through anything and everything. It is admirable that the game means so much to him that the thought of missing any kind of time is abhorrent.
This is where someone needs to step in, be it manager Davey Johnson or general manager Mike Rizzo or a doctor — someone, anyone — and take the decision out of a player’s hands. Because as much as Espinosa didn’t want to miss the first part of the season, isn’t dragging around a .158 batting average essentially doing exactly that? He’s been of no use to the Nationals and he hasn’t fixed his injuries.
They need to go in and fix that shoulder now. Yes, it will cost Espinosa the rest of this season. Let him take the extra time to rehab and get it as strong as he has this season, without that strength having to cover for a torn rotator cuff.
Espinosa’s struggles this season have made him somewhat of a poster child for the Nats’ bad start. With rookie Anthony Rendon recalled Tuesday, very quickly after being promoted to Triple-A Syracuse to play second, the window for Espinosa may be short if Rendon plays well the rest of the season.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Washington Times sports editor Mike Harris has more than 30 years experience in the business as a reporter, columnist and manager. He’s covered a wide variety of events including two Olympics, horse racing, auto racing, professional and college sports. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the section on Twitter @WashTimesSports.
- HARRIS: Break but don't bend? Bryce Harper quandary rears its head again for Nats
- HARRIS: Offseason nothing to look forward to for Caps or Wizards
- HARRIS: D.C. not yet spellbound by Wizards, but they're no illusion
- HARRIS: Echoes of 1978 NBA champs in these Wizards
- HARRIS: Wizards have moved to head of D.C.'s class
Latest Blog Entries
- Gio Gonzalez living a dream by throwing bullpen sessions to ex-Yankee Jorge Posada
- Meet Connor Carrick, the youngster who played his way onto the Caps' final roster
- Go Aggies: Nationals notes and lineups for Sept. 14
- RG3: There is no conflict with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan
- Sunday Nats-Dodgers lineups and some thoughts from reliever Craig Stammen
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia's gay marriage ban
- Federal judge rules D.C. ban on handguns in public is unconstitutional
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq