Aug 5, 2015, 5:47 PM EDT
Ian Desmond is out of the Nationals’ lineup for Wednesday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, as manager Matt Williams gives him a day to rest. The skipper described it as just one day off and that it does not mean Danny Espinosa has supplanted him as the team’s shortstop.
Desmond has had well-documented struggles this season and Williams thinks a day to clear his head could be beneficial.
“We want to put the best lineup out there every single day, but there are times when guys need a break, too,” Williams explained. “It’s not saying that he won’t be in the lineup tomorrow, but for today he’s getting rest.”
Desmond went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the team’s win on Tuesday night and has only three hits in his last six games, a span of 23 at-bats.
“I see it in Desi’s face when he comes back to the dugout and it hasn’t gone well,” Williams said. “There is a grind there and there’s no fix… except support, rest if you can, work. Sometimes you just gotta give them a day and today’s that day for Des.”
Desmond is batting just .214/.261/.354 with 11 homers and 34 RBI in 102 games this season. Espinosa is hitting .249/.320/.411 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI in 89 games. He has appeared in just three of the Nationals’ 10 games since Anthony Rendon returned off the disabled list.
Getting Espinosa at-bats has become a challenge for the Nats and giving Desmond a day off helps that cause.
“It gets Danny an opportunity to get back in the lineup. As we’ve spoken about the last few days anyway, we’d like to get him in there. We’re not thinking about tomorrow at this point,” Williams said.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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