Nationals' Danny Espinosa Played With Torn Rotator Cuff

The cortisone injections into his shoulder definitely helped.  This much is clear when you realize Danny Espinosa played with a torn rotator cuff for the final few weeks of the 2012 season.  Espinosa revealed the news during the Washington Nationals' Fan Fest yesterday.

According to Eric Detweiler of the Washington Post, Espinosa would not have played through the pain if he knew about the extent of the injury.  However, it was initially diagnosed as a shoulder bruise.  The tear was not revealed until after the season when Espinosa went for a second opinion.

“I knew something was wrong,” Espinosa said Saturday. “The cortisone shot masked me for a little bit. Everyone kept asking me ‘Is your shoulder okay? Is your shoulder okay?’ Well, I’m not going to come out and say, ‘Yeah it hurts. My shoulder hurts. I’m just playing through pain.’”
Not surprisingly, Espinosa led the league in strikeouts last season and set a new career-high for himself with 189.  He still hit for a better average than 2011, but his OBP and slugging percentage dropped.  Last year, Espinosa hit .247/.315/.402.

Espinosa will be entering his fourth season in the Majors this year.  He hopes to do so healthy, but he won't truly know how well the shoulder healed until he tests it in game situations.  Espinosa chose not to undergo surgery.  He worked on rehabbing the shoulder and strengthening the muscles around the injury.

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6 Responses to Nationals' Danny Espinosa Played With Torn Rotator Cuff

  1. I have mixed emotions about his playing hurt. I can understand the emotion of wanting to play in the last few weeks of a pennant race and then especially in the postseason. However, health and team should come first. Playing makes him a gamer, though.

  2. I think had he known it was a torn rotator cuff, he would have let doctors shut him down. But either way, he played through a lot of pain. My biggest concern now is that he opted against surgery in the offseason.

  3. hHe played through because post season play beckoned...most ballplayers would try to do the same. But I agree with Justin , these tears tend to heal better after surgery, even if it means some playing time is lost waiting for it to heal

  4. It was certainly a gamble not to have surgery. If he was wrong with that gamble, he could miss a large chunk of time in the middle of the year. But I don't blame him for trying to let it heal. He's young, he just got done playing through the pain of it. He's probably not thinking about the potential ramifications in 2013.

  5. Yeah, I always hold my breath when guy opt to rehab the injury rather than undergo surgery. Just seems like in most cases it lingers, impacts their play and then results in them ultimately undergoing surgery anyway.

    1. And regardless of Espinosa's low batting average, the Nats can ill-afford to lose Espinosa in the middle of the season or down the stretch.


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