Washington Nationals News: Impact of Span, Escobar not to be minimized


Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Hal Bodley discusses the importance of outfielder Denard Span and infielder Yunel Escobar to the Nationals. As Bodley notes, most of the credit regarding the Nationals offense has gone to Bryce Harper, but Span and Escobar have also been crucial for the Nats and will be key players down the stretch.

There’s no denying that Harper is the heart and soul of the Nationals’ offense right now, and he may very well be on his way to an MVP season. But one player alone can’t carry a ball club—even a player who leads the National League in several offensive categories and has already tied his career-high in home runs with 22. For a team to have success over the course of a 162-game season, other players have to step up and contribute at the plate, which is exactly what Span and Escobar have done.

After starting the season on the DL, Span has been a key player for the Nationals. The centerfielder is hitting .303 with five home runs, 20 RBIs and six stolen bases, all while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense in centerfield. Escobar has been everything the Nationals could’ve hoped for this season, hitting .316 with 21 RBIs.

The Nationals’ offense—which has been grossly inconsistent this season—has been kept somewhat afloat not only by Harper but also by Span and Escobar, who have excelled while other key hitters have struggled or landed on the DL. Not only have Span and Escobar had offensive success in their own right, but they’ve also helped set the table for Harper and are a big reason why the 22-year-old slugger has been tearing it up with the bat this season.

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Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James Wagner gives us an update on Ryan Zimmerman, who is on the disabled list with left foot plantar fasciitis. According to Wagner, Zimmerman continues to rest the foot, which is the only thing he can do right now to improve his condition. Hopefully for Zimmerman and the Nationals, Zimmerman’s foot will get better soon and he’ll be able to start a rehab assignment and rejoin the Nationals.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Impact of Span, Escobar not to be minimized

(Hal Bodley, MLB.com)

ST. PETERSBURG — It was reminiscent of a scene from “The Natural” — thunder and lightning vibrating in the skies outside Tropicana Field, and Bryce Harper launching a rocket to center field that trailed sparks.

Harper’s homer Tuesday night was almost lost in the Nationals’ 16-4 rout of the Rays, although it was his 22nd of the season, tying his career high. It was just one of 23 hits, six for extra bases, including four homers.

They’re calling Harper “The Nat-ural” because he’s doing just about everything that Roy Hobbs did in the 1984 award-winning movie. When you talk about Washington this year, it starts with Harper. You cannot overlook his contributions to the underachieving Nats; he’s arguably the best player in the Major Leagues this year and is near the top in just about every National League offensive category. Read full article here.

Ryan Zimmerman still resting his left foot

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

Ever since he landed on the disabled list on June 11 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, Ryan Zimmerman has only been allowed to rest, hoping the foot discomfort will subside.

“Just kind of hang out and do nothing,” he said on Wednesday at Nationals Park, his first comments since landing on the disabled list. “It’s pretty brutal, actually. I just gotta rest it and let it heal. Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.”

But that’s exactly it: Plantar fasciitis can be tricky. Feet are essential to almost every physical activity, especially on the baseball field. Asked when he thought he might be ready for a return to the Nationals, Zimmerman said: “I don’t really know. I’ve never had to deal with it. You just rest and let it heal.” Read full article here.

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