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Span Out for Season After Hip Surgery
Tuesday, Sept. 1
James Wagner of the Washington Post reported Span's surgery was successful and his recovery window remains four-to-six months.
Span only played in 61 games this season but boasts a .301 average and 11 stolen bases. He tied for the National League lead with 184 hits in 2014 and consistently set the stage from the leadoff spot for the power hitters later in the lineup.
Unfortunately, Span has been unable to shake the injury bug this season. He had a seven-week absence because of back spasms that ended only briefly in late August before he was sidelined again. He also underwent sports hernia surgery in December and started the season on the DL after surgery to repair a right core muscle in March.
This is just the latest blow in a season filled with injuries for the Nationals. Yunel Escobar, Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman, among others, have dealt with various physical ailments throughout the year.
Tara Sledjeski of WFUVSports pointed out how bad it has been for Washington in 2015:
Manager Matt Williams at least acknowledged the silver lining when discussing Span’s latest setback, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post: “It’s going to be that way probably until the end of the year, where it’ll get sore every once in awhile. The good thing is Mikey [Taylor]’s been really productive for us.”
Now that Span is forced to miss the rest of the year, Michael Taylor will likely be his replacement.
Williams mentioned that the 24-year-old has been productive, and a major reason for that is his power. Taylor has 13 home runs and 55 RBI in 108 games this season, but he also brings solid speed to the table that helps him cover ground in center field and steal bases (15 on the year).
The Nationals are chasing the New York Mets in the National League East. It has been a disappointing season in the standings and the health department, but at least Taylor gives Washington an adequate replacement in center field.
Still, it is difficult to envision the Nationals overcoming a six-game deficit this late in the year without their projected leadoff hitter setting the tone.