Now Commenting On:

Span returns to leadoff spot against righty starter

Span returns to leadoff spot against righty starter


MILWAUKEE -- With Brewers right-hander Donovan Hand on the mound Saturday evening, Nationals manager Davey Johnson decided to return center fielder Denard Span to the leadoff spot.

No surprise there, because entering Saturday's action, Span was hitting .312 against right-handers this year. Against lefties, Span will likely hit seventh, while Bryce Harper leads off.

Against lefties, Span is 16-for-105 [.152] and Johnson would like Span to bunt more often when facing southpaws.

"He hasn't bunted hardly at all this year. He has bunted four times," Johnson said. "I would like to see him open that back up."

There is no denying that Span is one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball. It's not only because he hasn't made an error this year, his range is spectacular. He often plays shallow in center, but he often catches the ball when it is hit over his head. One is often reminded of Paul Blair, who won eight Gold Glove Awards playing center field for the Orioles.

"I like the way he plays center field. I like him to play shallow. He makes tremendous reads of the ball," Johnson said. "You are kind of shocked sometimes when the ball is in the ballpark and he didn't catch it. He has certainly been a plus for us."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español