Denard Span finished his second season in center field in the nation's capital at +3.8 fWAR, posting a .302/.355/.416 line with 39 doubles, eight triples, five home runs and 31 stolen bases in 147 games and 668 plate appearances.
For the second straight year, Span was a finalist for the Gold Glove in center, which this season went to New York Mets' outfielder Juan Lagares.
When Washington picked up Span's $9M option for the 2015 campaign, Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo sang the 30-year-old outfielder's praises in an article by Amanda Comak at the Nats' Curly W blog:
"'Denard was arguably our most consistent offensive player in 2014, keying so much of our offensive production, and his defense in center field is Gold Glove-caliber on a nightly basis. We’re excited to keep him in the fold for the 2015 season.'"
Span's preparation for his third season with the Nationals might be delayed a little bit.
The Nationals' leadoff man broke some news on his own Twitter account this morning:
God is so good! I doubted whether or not I would make it thru this but he saw me through this! So thankful. pic.twitter.com/U0PggLjKWb— Denard Span (@thisisdspan) December 3, 2014
The "this" that Span was referring to there was apparently a surgical procedure for a sports hernia.
#Nats CF Denard Span underwent successful surgery to repair a sports hernia. He is expected to be ready for Spring Training.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) December 3, 2014
Washington Post writer James Wagner reported this afternoon that Span "tweaked" the affected area toward the end of the season "but didn’t consider it serious.":
"When he recently started offseason workouts, the injured area felt better but had not improved to the point where he felt it needed to be. He was evaluated and had the surgery."
Another Injury Update?:
According to a report by MASNSports.com's Byron Kerr on Wednesday, 2011 Nationals' 3rd Round pick Matt Purke, who underwent shoulder surgery in 2012 and Tommy John surgery last season, has started his throwing program as he works his way back from the second major medical procedure of his professional career:
LHP Matt Purke started his throwing program with soft tosses Tuesday and says it "felt really good" Purke had TJ May 29 #Nats— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) December 3, 2014
Matt Purke begins his throwing program http://t.co/qMIxmiExwy— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) December 3, 2014
Purke, 24, has made a total of 29 starts in the Nationals' organization (at Low-A Hagerstown, High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg), going (7-12) with a 5.00 ERA, 55 walks (3.62 BB/9) and 118 Ks (7.77 K/9) in 136 ⅔ IP.
The Nationals released Purke last month, clearing a 40-Man Roster spot, but re-signed the left-hander after he cleared waivers, bringing him back to the organization on a minor league deal.