Washington Nationals News: Denard Span Out Rest Of The Week Due To Back Injury


For the rest of the week, the Washington Nationals will be without one of the key players in their lineup. Center fielder Denard Span told the media before tonight’s game against the Reds that he is going to see a specialist about his back in Texas and he has ruled out any chance he will be available to play this weekend when the team takes on the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards:

It has been a rough season for Span in terms of all the injuries he has had.   In December, the 31-year-old center fielder had to have surgery to fix his sports hernia. Three months later,  in spring training, he had to undergo surgery to repair his core muscle back on March 9. He would end up not playing in a regular season game until April 19 against the Phillies.

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Despite all of these nagging injuries, Span has had a very good season in the final year of his contract. He is hitting .304 with five home runs, 22 RBI’s, and has a .367 on-base percentage. Span left Monday night’s game after the second inning due to back spasms. With Span entering free agency next winter, it has to be frustrating for him as his back spasms continue to take him out of the lineup and have prevented him from making a great impact on the team. Take a look at the team’s record with and without him this year, courtesy of Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington:

However, despite Span officially missing the final five games of the first half of the season, the Nationals have not placed the center field on the disabled list yet. Matt Williams told the media that the team is going to wait until after Span sees the specialist before they make a DL decision:

Both Span and third baseman Yunel Escobar have been out of the lineup the last two days (hamstring tightness). However, it seems Escobar’s condition is improving since Williams said he is an option to play tonight if the team needs him:

Even though Michael Taylor has fared well since getting the chance to play everyday (.283 average and a .323 on-base percentage in the month of June), the Nats definitely miss Span’s leadership and contributions at the top of the order.

While the Nats have only played seven games this month, they are hitting .182 as a team at the plate, which is the worst in baseball. As of right now, the only players on the bench for tonight’s game are Escobar, catcher Wilson Ramos (getting the night off), Tyler Moore, and Emmanuel Burriss. With all of the injuries the Nats have had, they definitely could use another bat to help their offensive depth. Their bench as a whole this season in terms of pinch-hitters has not been good to say the least, as evidenced by their .168 batting average in pinch-hitting situations.

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