WASHINGTON -- The Nationals received some surprising news Friday, learning that second baseman Danny Espinosa has a broken bone in his right wrist. Espinosa hurt the wrist on April 14, when he was hit by a pitch thrown by Braves left-hander Paul Maholm.
Espinosa did not report there was a problem with the wrist until the team was in San Francisco a couple of days ago. He went to Baltimore for X-rays on Friday morning, and that is when he learned about the wrist problem. As of now, Espinosa is not going on the disabled list. Manager Davey Johnson is hoping that rest can ease the pain in Espinosa's wrist.
"No hitting, no throwing," Johnson said. "I'm hopeful [that] by rest, the bone will knit and repair itself. That's the plan with him."
Espinosa is also dealing with a torn left rotator cuff, but he has not missed a game because of it.
"I like the heck out of him, but he reminds me too much of me. He plays in pain," Johnson said about Espinosa. "I looked at the film and he has a little chip in his wrist. The report I got from the trainer was that if he can stand the pain, it shouldn't get any worse."
The switch-hitting Espinosa is off to a slow start this season, going 23-for-141 (.163). Espinosa is having a tough time swinging from the right side of the plate.
"Well, when you initially find out and they do the X-ray and say there's no break, there's nothing wrong, as a player you go, 'OK, it's going to take a few days for the pain to go away,' and especially in a spot like that," Espinosa said. "You know you're going to have to deal with some discomfort for two to three weeks, just until everything goes away. But at a certain point, when I felt that nothing was getting better -- it wasn't hurting, it wasn't excruciating, dying pain, but it was a discomfort every single day -- I knew I just wanted to get a second opinion. Now that the inflammation is gone, just to make sure there's nothing wrong. Like I said, they found out today that there was."
With Espinosa out for a few games, Steve Lombardozzi will be the everyday second baseman. On Friday, Lombardozzi went for 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the team's 5-2 victory over the Phillies.
"You don't want anybody to get injured, but they are calling on me to be ready. It's also good to get some consistent at-bats," Lombardozzi said.
After the game, the Nationals purchased the contract of infielder/outfielder Jeff Kobernus from Triple-A Syracuse and designated right-hander Yunesky Maya for assignment in order to put Kobernus on the 40-man roster.
Kobernus, ranked as the Nationals' No. 16 prospect, can play the infield and outfield and is off to a great start, hitting .333 with a home run and 20 RBIs. Last December, the Tigers selected Kobernus in the Rule 5 Draft, but he was sent back to the Nationals in March.
The Nationals were thinking about bringing Kobernus to the Major Leagues last summer, but shortstop Ian Desmond was able to recover from a left oblique strain, and Kobernus remained in Syracuse for the rest of the season.
As for Maya, he struggled since signing with the Nationals for four years, $8 million in 2010. In 16 career games for Washington, Maya was 1-5 with a 5.80 ERA. He last pitched Tuesday and allowed the game-winning home run to Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval.
Most of Maya's time was spent in the Minor Leagues. In four seasons, he was 17-25 with a 4.41 ERA.
Detwiler to test sore oblique in 'pen session
WASHINGTON -- It will not be known until Saturday if Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler will be able to start Tuesday against the Orioles.
The big test will come when he has a bullpen session at Nationals Park, according to manager Davey Johnson. Detwiler is already playing catch without any problems.
Detwiler already missed his scheduled start Monday against the Giants because of a right oblique strain. Detwiler hurt himself last week against the Dodgers in Los Angeles while running the bases on a sacrifice bunt.
Mattheus won't need surgery on right hand
WASHINGTON -- Reliever Ryan Mattheus will not need surgery on his broken right hand, according to manager Davey Johnson. However, Mattheus is expected to be out a couple of months.
"No need for any pins," Johnson said.
Mattheus broke his hand by slamming it on his locker after allowing five runs against the Padres on Sunday. Mattheus didn't reveal that something was wrong until the next day when he tried to play catch in San Francisco.
Mattheus is considered a late-inning reliever, who usually pitched in the seventh inning. He had a 4.96 ERA before he was put on the disabled list.
• Johnson doesn't plan to shave until the Nationals start hitting. Entering Friday's action, the team had a .225 batting average, which ranked 29th in the big leagues.
"I figured [the face] couldn't get any uglier, so what the heck," Johnson said. "Hopefully, I can shave soon."
• Outfielder Jayson Werth will but out least another two weeks because of a right hamstring injury, according to Johnson.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.