Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports that Denard Span is back in the Nationals’ starting lineup on Tuesday night against the Phillies after sitting out Monday due to a bruised right foot.
Span has fouled two different balls off his foot this month but has managed to avoid a major injury. He is starting in center field and batting leadoff on Tuesday against Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee.
Span, 29, has batted .256/.312/.349 with zero homers and seven stolen bases in 64 games this season for Washington. The .281/.353/.385 career hitter was acquired from the Twins this past winter for pitching prospect Alex Meyer.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.