Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Injuries Continue to Hit Nationals
The story of the Washington Nationals’ 2015 season has carried a common thread throughout, beginning all the way back before the team had even reported for spring training: injuries. It seems the team can’t escape them. Even now, just as the disabled list is starting to clear, lightning strikes again, and the Nationals once again find themselves with men down.
Thursday’s victory, while certainly a positive, did not come without its casualties. Yunel Escobar was the first to make an early exit. For what seemed like the 100th this year, an inside pitch ran up on him, striking him on the hand. While he walked to first base and stayed in for the home half of the frame, when the defense took the field again, Escobar was nowhere to be found. Instead, it was Anthony Rendon at third and Danny Espinosa at second.
Michael Taylor was the next to go down. Chasing after a long fly in the seventh, he ran into the fence at full force, tearing a hole in the padding and tearing his knee up. After a meeting with trainers, with Werth and Harper standing nearby, Taylor walked off under his own power, and the Nats played defensive musical chairs once more.
The good news is that, according to the early reports, both injuries are minor, just mere contusions. They’ll be day-to-day, unlikely to miss any major time.
But while the Nats seemed to have skirted disaster, it just goes to underscore how badly things have broken for them (no pun intended) this season. And making matters worse is the issue with Denard Span. After playing in just two games since his return from the disabled list, it appears that Span’s season (and likely his time in DC) is at an end:
It’s a shame, but it seems that age has finally caught up to Span. His old man strength wasn’t enough to overcome his old man body, and the man who’s been the table-setter for the Nationals offense, especially since the second half of last season, has likely played his last game in a Nationals uniform. The writing on the wall has grown to a size that it can’t be ignored; Matt Williams himself said that it’s hard to see Span coming back from this injury.
So while the Nationals may have just missed the sort of disastrous injuries that would have put their postseason hopes on life-support, the tale of injuries never seems to stray too far from the team.