There are no good options. I don't just mean for Espinosa here, I mean in general. I know you all think that Espinosa is the worst thing since bread wasn't sliced (which is silly, because except for processed sandwich bread what bread do you actually prefer to come sliced? Are you the reason all the crusty fresh-baked loaves in my grocery store are 95% sliced? If so I hate you.) but there are three batters hitting worse than he is (.502) in May by OPS. The three? Roger Bernadina (.452), Steve Lombardozzi (.441), and Tyler Moore (.315). In the matter of one offseason the bench went from "secret weapon" to "black pit of despair" in no time flat. Whenever anyone has gone down they've been replaced by a terrible offensive player.
I'm not surprised this happened to Tyler Moore, but Lombo is a little surprise and Bernie's is a a flat out shock to me. He didn't just regress from his best year, he free falled. The knee-jerk reaction is to say "small sample size" and maybe this is just a fluke. Ok, let's see then, how much is this BABIP? Given their average BABIPs (I used .300 for Moore and Lombo, .290 for Bernie (and Espinosa for the hell of it)) they would be hitting this: Lombo .271, Espinosa .234, Moore .179, Bernie .178. Without looking any further that would explain why Espy isn't at his usual "just decent enough average not to turn fans against him" and Lombo isn't at his "deceptively high enough average to make fans want to see him play everyday even though all of those hits are singles". But it doesn't help Moore and Bernie much. Why? As we explained earlier with Moore - too few balls in play. Too many Ks. Moore is striking out an alarming 44% of the time, but Bernie is up there, too, near 35%.
And this tells us something important about strikeouts. Everyone hates the fact Danny Espinosa strikes out so much (around 25% of the time right now) But it's at those rates getting around 30% and higher that you need to worry about K's. Adam LaRoche is heating up in May with his hitting streak and a .356 average in the month. He's still striking out 26% of the time this month. Desmond and Zimm have been the best non-Bryce hitters on the team this year and they've both struck out nearly as often as Danny. It's not the Ks.
What is it with Danny? Right now it looks like an inability to drive the ball. LD-rate at 9.8% which is significantly lower than the past couple years (16.1% and 18.9%) . Same with HR/FB rate, 8.1% after years of 13.5% and 12.6%. It could be just small sample size. Maybe. Patience is wearing thin but I'll keep saying I think we should wait until Memorial Day. You can have a bad month. You CAN have two but at that point you may need to make a decision, which would almost certainly be a DL decision, because if you have a third then half the year is gone.
So who replaces him? Minor leaguers? Sure there are guys hitting ok Rhymes & Kobernus come to mind but neither is someone you feel good enough about to pull Espinosa right now. (and no one fields like Espinosa). Rendon? He's a 3rd baseman to this franchise. He's played only 4 times at 2nd in the minors this year.
And speaking of having no good options, Detwiler and Ramos went down. You'll probably see Solano for Ramos. He is hitting .167 / .196 / .204. Why him if he's hitting that bad? Because the other AAA catcher is Maldonado and he's .098 / .159 / .098. Sandy Leon? He's hitting this year like he hit in every year that wasn't 2012 (poorly). As for Detwiler the Nats don't have a real prospect pitching well above High-A right now. Daniel Rosenbaum is doing ok, but he's a paradox. He's not good enough that you expect him to stick (the Rockies had him as a Rule V this year and tossed him back) but he hasn't started his clock yet so you hate to do that just for a spot start. Look instead for one of the terrible veteran AAA arms (Young, Maya, Perry and Ohlendorf) to step in.
1-2 vs the Dodgers isn't bad. But they really need a strong showing vs the Padres with the Giants waiting at the end of the road.