Washington Nationals' manager Matt Williams talked last week during the season-opening homestand, about the work injured outfielder Denard Span was doing to get game-ready as he rehabbed from surgery to repair a right core muscle injury suffered during Spring Training. It was, of course, the second surgical procedure of the offseason for Span, who underwent surgery for a sports hernia earlier this winter. How fast Span could return, Williams explained, would be his own decision.
"It's a question of how guys come out of the surgery and how they tolerate it," Williams said. "I know that for Denard, he feels good about his running. Even when he wasn't feeling good at the start of Spring it was the running that bothered him not necessarily the hitting. Because he was taking batting practice every day and actually playing in games. He feels good about going full out and he's out there running balls down in the outfield during batting practice and doing all of his work, so that's a very good sign and now the next step is getting him in ballgames."
When the Nationals left the nation's capital for Philadelphia and the start of a six-game road trip that continues today in Boston, Span returned to the Nats' facilities in Florida where the Nationals set up games for him so that he could keep working his way back.
This afternoon, the Harrisburg Senators, on Twitter, and Team President Kevin Kulp announced that Span would begin a rehab assignement with the Nationals' Double-A Eastern League affiliate:
Span, 31, put up a .302/.355/.416 line with 39 doubles, eight triples, five home runs and a career-high 31 stolen bases in a +4.0 fWAR campaign in D.C. in 2014. Span, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon were the Nats' 1-2-3 hitters last season. Werth returned to action in the majors yesterday after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Rendon continues to work his way back from an MCL sprain suffered this Spring.