Mike Rizzo Explains Catalyst for Denard Span’s Sudden Burst of Power

CBS DC

WASHINGTON — Through 30 games in 2015, Nationals center fielder Denard Span has already matched his home run total (5) from last season. Averaging .325 at the dish, he remains three homers shy of his career best (8 HR in 2009).

In Span’s last 106 games — from June 28, 2014 to May 27, 2015 — he has hit .335 for average with 9 HR, 25 doubles and 33 RBI.

That stretch has become inextricably tied to Bryce Harper’s June 30 comments of last year, when, after returning from missing 57 games with a torn ligament in his left thumb, Harper voiced his opinion of the Nationals’ best-hitting lineup. In doing so, he omitted Span’s name, implying Span — who had hit .264 with a .308 on-base percentage up to that point in the season — should not be in the lineup.

What Harper could not have known at the time: Span was…

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