Matt Williams was asked last night why Denard Span didn't come on as a defensive replacement when center fielder Michael Taylor was injured colliding with the center field wall while tracking down a fly to deep center. Span, 31, who was just off the DL, was unavailable, Williams explained, after a flare-up of the back issues which landed him on the Disabled List.
"Denard had a setback," Williams said. "He's had issues with his back again and he'll be placed on the DL with left hip inflammation, we'll have a corresponding move tomorrow, that's why he's not in the game."
Asked if it the latest problem was tied to the lower back issues and back spasms Span was dealing with, the second-year skipper said that the outfielder's body didn't react well to the two games he played this week.
"We'll have to put him back on the disabled list and have a corresponding move tomorrow," he said.
The Nationals announced that move this afternoon:
The #Nats have recalled OF Matt den Dekker from Triple-A Syracuse and placed CF Denard Span on the 15-day DL with left hip inflammation.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 28, 2015
Williams also said that it seemed unlikely that Span would return this season.
"We have to make sure that we're mindful of him and his back and his hips and so it's unclear right now," he explained. "I would imagine it's going to be very tough for him to get back."
According to a report from MLB.com's Bill Ladson today, Span will need surgery for the hip issue, which will be the veteran's third surgical procedure of the year after he had sports hernia and core muscle surgeries this winter.
Den Dekker, acquired from the New York Mets in exchange for left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins this Spring, has put up a .184/.259/.347 line in 26 games and 55 plate appearances in the majors this season and a .249/.320/.398 line with the Nationals' AAA affiliate.