Washington Nationals News: Span and Rendon key to Nats’ offense

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Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! Before tonight’s game against the Braves, 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 Jacob Emert discusses the importance of Denard Span and Anthony Rendon to the Nationals’ offense. As Emert notes, both players can form a dangerous tandem at the top of the order like they did in last night’s win over the Braves—when they combined to go 6-for-8 with two RBIs and a run scored.

As last night showed, Span and Rendon are key pieces to the lineup. Not only are they capable of putting up great offensive numbers themselves, but they can also help set the table for Asdrubal Cabrera, Bryce Harper and the rest of the Nationals’ lineup.

As Emert notes in his article, Span and Rendon were also huge for the lineup last year and their combined contributions to the offense played a major role in leading the Nationals to their second division title. This year, the Nationals will need both players to once again set the table at the top of the order if the team wants to achieve its goals in October.

Along with being productive at the plate, Span and Rendon have to stay healthy—something that neither player has been able to do this season. Both Span and Rendon have spent significant time on the disabled list and their absence has been greatly felt by the Nationals, whose offense has been extremely inconsistent because of injuries.

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But both players are healthy now, and they are seeing the ball well at the plate. The Nationals can only hope that their good health and offensive success continue down the stretch and into October.

Also in today’s Daily, MiLB.com’s Kelsie Heneghan discusses Nationals prospect Mariano Rivera Jr.’s debut yesterday for the Auburn Doubledays. As Heneghan notes, Rivera pitched well in his professional debut, posting two scoreless innings of work while allowing two hits and striking out four batters.

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

Span, Rendon set tone for Nats’ offense

(Jacob Emert, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — In 2014, the tandem of Denard Span and Anthony Rendon proved a dangerous duo at the top of Washington’s order. One year ago, they combined to hit .294 and scored 205 runs, a product of getting on base consistently in front of Bryce Harper.

In Tuesday night’s 3-1 win over the Braves, the pair combined to go 6-for-8 with two RBIs and a run scored and showed they are close to returning to that type of synchronized production.

“I think it just sets the tone,” Span said. “It sets the whole offense in motion, especially if I get on base and [Rendon] comes behind me. He usually gives me a pitch or two to try and get on second base. And if not, if I don’t steal, he’s very capable of hitting a homer or hitting a double. It’s just something that sets the tone for the whole team and the whole game when we do our jobs.” Read full article here.

After ‘Sandman,’ Rivera sets himself apart

( Kelsie Heneghan, MiLB.com)

Regardless of how Mariano Rivera Jr. settles in, it was only fitting that he made his pro debut out of the bullpen on Tuesday.

The son of the former New York Yankees reliever made his first appearance for the Auburn Doubledays against State College on Tuesday night. Rivera, a fourth-round pick by Washington in the 2015 draft, gave up two hits over two scoreless innings while striking out four.

Rivera was a starter at Iona but the Nationals are assessing his role as a pro to see where he best fits in. Read full article here.

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