The last two games in Boston saw the Washington Nationals offense break out for a combined 17 runs. Now, they could be getting more help back, especially for their team defense, in a few days. Center fielder Denard Span began his rehab assignment in double-A Harrisburg on Tuesday and will continue it down in low-A Hagerstown on Thursday.
On Tuesday night, Span went 1-for-4 at the plate, which included a single to center field in his final at-bat. All in all, Span’s recovery has been quick when you consider that after he had the core muscle surgery in March, it was being projected for Span to return in early May.
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Even though Michael Taylor has started to improve defensively, it will be a good thing for the Nats to have Span in center field when he comes back because it continues to give the lineup more depth. Span’s rehab has gone quicker than expected, but Matt Williams talked about on Wednesday how that is not so big of an issue:
"“We’ve set up simulated at-bats so right now he’s looking at 30-ish. So you look at that and that’s halfway through spring training type of at-bats, although he hasn’t played in that many games. He hasn’t played in 15 games yet, but those at-bats are there. If his timing’s good, if he feels good and if he’s 100 percent healthy then we’ll make a decision.” (h/t Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post)"
If Span can play a few games in Hagerstown and show no effects of the injury, he could see playing time either late in the Phillies series, but more likely when Washington plays the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday because of the day off on Monday.
The Hagerstown Suns will be playing against the Lakewood Blue Claws (Philadelphia Phillies) tonight at 6:05 PM ET in their home opener. They are currently 2-4 on the season, but were a part of history on Wednesday.
While they were no-hit in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates), they were still able to win the game 1-0. That one run came in the first inning due to three walks and a hit-by-pitch. Austen Williams got the win for the Suns. The sixth round pick in last year’s draft has given up only one run in 9.2 innings to start the year. Game 2 was suspended due to rain.
High-A Potomac was on the losing end of a no-hitter on Wednesday in Game 1 of their doubleheader as they lost to James Dykstra the Winston-Salem Dash (Chicago White Sox) 1-0. Potomac would win Game 2 6-2 with Wilmer Difo hitting his second home run of the season.