Denard Span headed back to DL with hip inflammation, unlikely to return this season

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Brutal news here for the Nationals, as Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that center fielder Denard Span is headed back to the 15-day disabled list with left hip inflammation and is unlikely to return this season.

Span was just activated on Tuesday after missing six weeks due to a nagging back injury. He appeared in two games before sitting out Thursday with what was termed as back soreness. According to James Wagner of the Washington Post, Nationals manager Matt Williams said that Span’s hip issue is related to his core and his back. Of course, Span got a late start on the year after a pair of core muscle repair surgeries. And now his year will apparently end prematurely, leaving the Nationals to make due without their leadoff man as they attempt to play catch-up in the National League East.

Span has been really good when in the lineup this season, batting .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, and 11 stolen bases over 61 games. However, he has just had some rotten luck on the health front. It’s worth noting that he’s due to be a free agent this offseason, so his tenure with the Nationals might be over altogether.

Rookie Michael Taylor will serve as the Nationals’ regular center fielder the rest of the way. The 24-year-old left tonight’s game against the Padres with a right knee contusion after crashing into the outfield fence. Fortunately for the Nationals, he’s considered day-to-day.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.