Washington Nationals News: Denard Span expects to be activated, play Tuesday

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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, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson gives us an update on the injury situation of Nationals center fielder Denard Span. As Ladson notes, Span is set to come off the disabled list and expects to be activated and in the lineup for tomorrow night’s series opener against the San Diego Padres.

Span has been on the disabled list with back tightness since July 7. The outfielder and leadoff hitter had been playing through the injury for several weeks prior to being placed on the disabled list, but ultimately had to take himself out in hopes that he could finally recover from the ailment. Now, it looks like Span is healthy and ready to rejoin the Nationals for the rest of the regular season.

Obviously, this is great news for the Nationals. With Span back on the active roster, the Nationals can use the lineup they planned on using prior to Spring Training for the first time this season. The lineup has been largely inconsistent all season long, and having Span at the top of the order could help lead the lineup to a much-needed offensive surge down the stretch.

Also in today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James Wagner discusses how Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has fared against the shift this season.

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As Wagner notes, Harper has seen teams use an infield shift against him more than ever this season—a likely result of the fact that he’s hitting grounders to the right side more frequently this season as well. But, as Wagner writes, Harper has been mostly unfazed by infielders shifting to the right side this year and has oftentimes beaten the shift the other way. Yesterday’s win against the Brewers was no exception, as Harper beat the shift twice to notch two doubles the other way.

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.

Span expects to be activated, play Tuesday

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

WASHINGTON — Nationals center fielder Denard Span said that he expects to be taken off the 15-day disabled list Tuesday and start against the Padres that night.

Span said he feels good enough to play in a Major League game. It helps that he had a rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg last week and went 4-for-14 with one home run and five runs scored. He last played center field Saturday, going nine innings without any problems. He was a designated hitter on Sunday.

Span has been on the disabled list since July 7 because of back tightness and abdominal issues. Read full article here.

How Bryce Harper has done against the shift this season

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

Bryce Harper‘s emergence as one of baseball’s best overall hitters, and arguably the best in the National League, has featured a lot of home runs (31) and walks (90). And while it may get far less attention, two of Harper’s at-bats in Sunday’s win were telling examples of why the right fielder is hitting .330 this season.

Twice, the Brewers shifted the infield defense to the right side. Harper’s tendencies support it: He has pulled the ball on the ground to the right side more this season than before. But twice, Harper did what has defined much of his season: He took the pitches he was given and hit the ball that way. Read full article here.

Next: Minor Leagues: Harrisburg Senators Midseason Update

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