Washington Nationals News: Denard Span making progress in recovery


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

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes gives us an update on the status of injured center fielder Denard Span. According to Janes, Span is making progress in his recovery from a back injury and participated in baseball activities for the first time since the injury this weekend.

Span has been on the disabled list since July 20. The centerfielder had been dealing with back spasms for most of the season, and after the issue lingered and forced him to miss several games, Span decided to go on the disabled list to try to fix the problem once and for all. Fortunately for Span, tests on his back didn’t reveal any significant structural issues, as Janes writes in her article.

While it could still be a couple of weeks or more before Span returns to his spot atop the Nationals’ lineup, the fact that he’s making progress in his recovery is definitely a good sign for the Nationals. The team already got several key hitters back from the disabled list last week, but Span’s absence in the leadoff spot has been a big reason why the Nationals’ offense has been so inconsistent in recent weeks.

Once Span returns to the Nationals, the team might be able to play with the lineup they wanted coming into Spring Training for the first time all season. Plagued by injuries all season long, the Nationals have been using a makeshift lineup for much of the year and have yet to see their lineup at full strength.

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Now, however, Span is the only key hitter remaining on the disabled list. And with the center fielder making progress in his recovery, the lineup should be at full strength for the most important part of the stretch run.

Also in today’s Daily, Jim Meyerriecks of Federal Baseball writes an interesting editorial discussing Nationals manager Matt Williams‘ handling of the bullpen and the lineup this season.

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.

Denard Span swings, throws for the first time since landing on the disabled list

(Chelsea Janes, Washington Post)

FLUSHING, N.Y. — Denard Span joined the Nationals at Citi Field Saturday, a signal of progress more substantial that he has made since being placed on the disabled list July 10 with back spasms. Span hit in the cage — about 30 swings, he reported — and threw in the outfield, his first baseball activity in three weeks.

“Been doing a lot of physical therapy, a lot of what seems like elementary, tedious-type exercises trying to strengthen up my core and back muscles,” Span said. “So we’ll see how I feel tomorrow. Read full article here.

Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams is out of excuses

( Jim Meyerriecks, Federal Baseball)

For the second night in a row, the Washington Nationals lost a one run game to their closest competitor in the N.L. East. For the second night in a row, the New York Mets scored that winning run in their final at bat. For the second night in a row, the Nats top two relievers watched all of that action unfold from the bullpen.

Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams is out of excuses.

Nats GM Mike Rizzo made his deadline move, snagging Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies. In order to acquire Papelbon, Rizzo took quite a few risks. Assuring Papelbon that he would close risked upsetting his best relief pitcher, Drew Storen, who has been a rock in an otherwise shaky bullpen. Assuming the extra year of Papelbon’s services for $11 million puts a considerable strain on the budget beyond this season. Finally, Rizzo risked team chemistry and fan relations by acquiring a player who has a reputation (deserved or not) for being a bit abrasive. Read full article here.

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