District Daily: Denard Span Leading the Charge, Ian Desmond Setting the Bar


Aug 8, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span (2) celebrates after reaching second on a single and bad throw against the Atlanta Braves in the seventh inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals keep churning out news like folks in the olden days churned out butter. Below are all the latest links.

Even-keeled Span making big impact for Nats

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

More from Nationals News

NEW YORK — Nationals center fielder Denard Span acknowledges that he is more relaxed this year than he was at this time last year. It helps that he’s gained better familiarity with his teammates and vice versa.

“They know they type of person and player I am. It gives me more confidence,” Span said. “The people understand me more. I work my butt off and I play the game hard.”

Being more relaxed has carried over onto the field. Entering Tuesday’s action against the Mets, Span is on a 14-game hitting streak and has reached base in 36 consecutive games. Read full article here.

The Nationals’ Last Expo

(Rob Neyer, Fox Sports)

For example, this popped up during Sunday night’s game:

Just for fun, let’s set the bar just a bit lower … Since 2012, there are 13 65-RBI seasons by shortstops. Desmond’s got three of them, J.J. Hardy’s got two … and oddly enough, nobody else has more than one. So far, that is; Starlin Castro, Alexei Ramirez, and Troy Tulowitzki might all get their second later this season.

Anyway, the point stands: When it comes to knocking runners home, no shortstop has been as consistent as Desmond in recent seasons. Which got me to wondering just how good he’s been. Or if maybe he’s actually been great. Read full article here.

Bryce Harper’s surgically repaired left thumb is fine after stinger

(James Wagner, The Washington Post)

In the sixth inning, the Nationals saw a sight they’d rather not: Bryce Harper hunched over at the plate, clutching his surgically repaired left thumb. Facing Braves starter Aaron Harang, Harper fouled off a high fastball and then grabbed his left thumb, which underwent surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament and forced him to miss two months.

Nationals Manager Matt Williams and head trainer Lee Kuntz came out to talk with Harper. He stayed in the game and fouled off another pitch. Harper later smacked a single to left field. At first base, Harper took off his batting gloves and showed first baseman Freddie Freeman that left thumb was bugging him.

After the game, Harper said his left thumb was fine. His reaction was a combination of the pain from the vibration of the bat and the fright of hurting the thumb again. Read full article here.