Category Archives: Denard Span

Things Got Pretty Hairy During Last Night’s Nats Game

We tweeted this but I think I’ll share it here because it tickled me so much:

Werth won the beard-off but lost the war, lining out to third. He’s having a good June, however, putting up a .279/.355/.456 slash line. What to do with him, though, when Bryce comes back? The common thinking is he’ll move down to the sixth or seventh spot in the lineup, but what about batting him leadoff?

That’s counterintuitive, because Denard Span is a Leadoff Guy, but at some point the guy you give the most plate appearances to has to get on base, and D-Span isn’t getting on base. Like, he is very much not getting on base, to the tune of a .256 OBP in June (.310 for the season).

The Nats made this very move last year, moving Werth into the leadoff spot August 11, where he posted a .374 OBP over the season’s final two months. Plus, it’s not like he’s a middle-of-the-order, power bat at this point anyway.

Food for thought. Interested to see what others think.

Nats Acquire Denard Span To Be New Center Fielder/Leadoff Man

So long, 6’9″ starting pitching prospect and 2011 first-rounder Alex Meyer. Mike Rizzo and the Nats shipped him to Minnesota for above-average center fielder and leadoff man Denard Span. (Bonus: Fangraphs loves the deal!)

This means a bunch of stuff:

– The new outfield is Span in center with Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper on the corners. That’s good defense.

– Mike Morse is moving out of left field, probably to 1B, and Adam LaRoche is probably moving out period. I’m happy not to suffer Morse’s outfield defense any longer. I’d miss LaRoche’s glove at first, though, and his lefthanded power bat in the lineup. I’d miss everything about Adam LaRoche, actually.

– Because they’re not signing a big-money CF and probably not re-signing LaRoche, the Nats have that much more to spend on pitching.

– Werth won’t bat leadoff now, which is good, especially if it moves Harper to the heart of the order and ensures Danny Espinosa stays out of the two spot.

– Tyler Moore will be a depth guy, picking up spot starts in the outfield and at first base, as it should be.

About Span: He averages 3.2 WAR/year for his career, is 28 and signed through 2014 at less than $6 million per with a $9 million club option for ’15. That’s a lot less than the $75 million Atlanta gave B.J. Upton and whatever it is Michael Bourn is going to get.

Welcome to D.C., new friend. Nice move, Rizzo.

Update: Adam Kilgore does a great job examining all of the ramifications.