- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 7, 2015

Danny Espinosa has been as reliable as they come on defense throughout his career with the Washington Nationals, switching at times between second base, shortstop and third base.

On Sunday, he added another position to his growing list.

When center fielder Denard Span left Sunday’s game against the Chicago Cubs because of back spasms, Espinosa jogged to left field, a position he had never played in his professional career. He borrowed Jayson Werth’s mitt — or at least he thinks the mitt was Werth’s.

“I’ve taken some fly balls when I’m not playing, just out there shagging,” Espinosa said after Washington’s 6-3 loss. “I mean, just try to get the job done and not overthink it.”

As for how he felt while he was out there, Espinosa said depth was the biggest challenge.

“Just knowing where you need to be, depth-wise,” the lifelong infielder said. “If you need to be farther back, when you’re supposed to do that.”

Span also had to deal with an unfamiliar experience. He has never back spasms before, so when he felt his back tighten up after the seventh inning, it was frightening.

“I popped up to shortstop and came back, put my helmet in the rack, put my bat down — calmly — and sat down on the bench,” Span explained. “And as soon as we got three outs, hopped up to go get my glove and I went to go stand up and it just locked up on me. Never happened to me before, so it definitely scared the heck out of me.”

Span said he felt a little better after receiving some treatment to loosen his back muscles, but he was far from comfortable in the Nationals’ clubhouse after the game. Luckily for Span, the Nationals have Monday off before taking on the New York Yankees on Tuesday. 

“Hopefully it feels better tomorrow when I wake up,” Span said. “That will be a little bit more peaceful for me. But it’s still too early. I don’t know how serious or really what’s going on.”

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