In a sixth-inning at-bat on Sunday, Denard Span fouled a ball off his right foot for the third time this season, and second time in a week. Span, 29, has been playing baseball since he was 5 years old and has never fouled a ball off his foot until this season.
Span iced the right foot after the game but still struggled to put his shoe on because of the discomfort. He remained in the game after he fouled the ball off his foot, even while wearing a protector. He missed one game this week because of the injured right foot. Asked if he needed time off to rest it, Span said he hopes to see how he feels Monday in Philadelphia.
“Just gotta see how it feels in the morning,” Span said. “That’s usually when it’s been most sore and most painful, when I wake up.”
After Span fouled the ball off his foot while facing Indians starter Corey Kluber, he beat out an infield single to snap an ongoing 0-for-20 slump. He raced down the first base line but after the ball sailed into foul territory, Span pulled up gingerly. He took second on the play; an error was charged to first baseman Mark Reynolds for the fielding miscue. Span stayed in the game, but it was clear on the next play that his foot was bugging him.
Anthony Rendon smacked a sharp line-drive single to right field and Span stopped at third base. Third base coach Trent Jewett put up the stop sign but Span later acknowledged that he didn’t think he would have been able to score because of his foot. “I couldn’t move too much,” he said.
Span’s hitting has lagged recently, dipping to .256 during his slump. His on-base percentage has also dropped to .312, a low rate for a leadoff hitter. But when he smacked the groundball, he channeled his pain and frustration running to beat out the throw to snap the slump.
“The last few times that I’ve fouled a pitch off my foot it kinda gets me in a pissed off mood and zone and I get a hit,” he said, with a smile, after the game.