Center fielder Denard Span will miss the first game of his Nationals tenure today with swelling in his left ankle, which he fouled a pitch off of in the first inning Friday night. Span received treatment on the ankle this morning and is considered “day to day,” he said.
When Span woke up this morning, he nearly fell over trying to walk on his ankle. But the swelling dissipated with the morning treatment. The Nationals have not decided if Span will play tomorrow, but Span said he would available late in today’s game if the Nationals need him.
“I think it came at the right time,” Span said. “Davey was saying he was looking to give me a break, anyway.”
Span remained in the game Friday until the seventh inning. He made two excellent catches in center, but the ankle started to affect him.
“I definitely didn’t feel explosive, even in the outfield,” Span said. “I just didn’t feel as mobile as normal. Running around in a straight line was fine. It bothered me more hitting. The torque of my front foot, that bothered me.”
Span’s injury adds to the Nationals’ banged-up outfield. Jayson Werth is out for the second straight game and will likely miss tomorrow’s series finale in Pittsburgh, too, with tightness in his left hamstring. Bryce Harper has been nursing a bruise in his left side, which he suffered crashing into the outfield fence. It’s “as good as it’s going to be,” Harper said.
Span has hit .282/.352/.336 while playing stellar defense in center field. Without him, Roger Bernadina will play center while Tyler Moore will play right field in Jayson Werth’s place.