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.
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.
“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.
He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.
“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”
Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.
“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.
“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”
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