VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
BOX/MMA
CFL
More
Betting Tools

 
Span gets fresh start with Nationals

VIERA, Fla. (AP) - When Denard Span put on his new Washington Nationals jersey for the first time recently, he couldn't help but take a look in the mirror.

Advertisement
Span liked what he saw.

``It even felt good,'' he said. ``It felt like my uniform fits a little better than it fit in Minnesota. It's probably my waist. I don't know if it's the pants, the material or something, but it seemed like it hugged my waist a little bit better.

``It was a refreshing feeling, like a new beginning. (I'm) a little energized.''

The Nationals, who held their first full-squad workout on Sunday, sent minor league pitcher Alex Meyer to the Twins in exchange for the 28-year-old Span in November.

Span fills a void the team has long been searching to fill - a speedy defensive center fielder who can bat at the top of the order and has a career .357 on-base percentage.

``He helps us on a bunch of different levels, not to mention that we think he's a terrific character guy in the clubhouse,'' Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said. ``He's going to fit in here perfectly and be a guy that really is a leader on this club.''

Nationals manager Davey Johnson met with Span on Sunday to briefly talk about how much work the outfielder is used to getting during spring training.

Johnson said one of his biggest concerns this spring is making sure Span has a chance to play the outfield with Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth so the trio can get used to each other's defensive range, and also work out any communication issues.

Teammates such as Ian Desmond - who spent time in the leadoff spot last season - have already told Span they're happy to have him on the team.

``Just to be here (and fill a need) they've been looking for ... I think it's going to pay off,'' Span said. ``I think it's going to allow everybody to get where they need to be in the lineup and be comfortable.

``It's a good feeling to be somewhere where you're wanted and needed.''

Though he is still getting to know his new teammates, Span has already let it be known he is a big NBA fan, jumping into a discussion about Michael Jordan on Saturday. He is also the owner of more than a few Air Jordan shoes.

``There might not be enough fingers in this clubhouse to count how many I have,'' he smiled.

The Nationals were reportedly interested in acquiring Span two years ago, while he was still trying to recover from a concussion following a collision with Kansas City catcher Brayan Pena on June 3, 2010.

Span said he was taken by surprise by the rumors two years ago. When the trade actually happened, not only was he more prepared for it, but his mother cried.

``She cried tears of joy,'' Span said. ``She was just excited for a new opportunity for me. ... She told me she had been praying for me to get traded to Washington. I think that's why she was so emotional. She felt like God had answered her prayers.''

Thanks to yoga, some chiropractic work and a few changes in his diet, Span says he is past his concussion issues, which he said were more mentally taxing than anything physical.

Now, he has a new team and a fresh new outlook.

``I'm happy to be here,'' he said. ``I'm happy for change. It's refreshing to be in a new place, a new place in my life and for a new opportunity.''

Notes: Cold and windy conditions greeted the Nationals for their first full-squad workout. The temperature was 41 degrees. Because of that, the players worked out for just under two hours. ... Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez is scheduled to pitch in the second round of the World Baseball Classic in Miami, which would give him three starts for Washington (Feb. 25, March 2 and 7) before he leaves camp. ... The Nationals will throw the first of two live batting practices sessions on Tuesday. ... OF Bryce Harper hit six balls over the fence during Sunday's batting practice. ... Weather conditions made it a tough day for both the pitchers and catchers because the ball was moving all over the place. ... The only scary moment came when RHP Cole Kimball bounced a splitter that hit catcher Kurt Suzuki in the thigh. ... The hard-throwing Kimball, who tore his right rotator cuff in 2011, has been impressive in his bullpen sessions so far. ``I think it's a tribute to him, and as hard as he's worked because I think he's back,'' Johnson said. ``He's certainly got a good future. He's been throwing the ball exceptionally well.''

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Indians shut out Cubs for sweep
Rangers outlast Yankees, 12-10
Red Sox pull away from Rays, 4-1
Marlins edge Mets as heavy road 'dogs
Arrieta aces up, Phillies blank Braves
Verlander improves to 6-2, Astros win
Royals downs Cards 5-2 in 10 innings
Tigers top Twins 4-1, stop 5-game skid
Brewers sweep D-backs with 9-2 win
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
5-0 +530 Run, 15-4 +1,158 G-Plays
16-5 L21, 48-21 +2,961 Streak
3-1 LN, 14-6 +874 Run, 6-1 G-Plays
12-2 G-Plays, 6-1 Totals, 19-8 Picks
3-0 Last Night, 9-4 +511 L5 Days
10-2 L12 G-Plays, 10-3 L13 Picks
7-3 L4 Days, 10-4 L14 G-Plays
35-17 L52 Totals, 12-7 L19 G-Plays
5-2 +318 L7 Picks, +1,233 TY
23-9, +1,479 L32 Guarantees
5-1 L6 G-Plays, 10-3 L13 Totals
10-4, +679 L14 Selections
4-1 Last 5 MLB G-Plays
8-2 L10 Guaranteed Plays
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Dave Cokin
2018 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 2877
Kyle Hunter + 1433
Jim Feist + 1061
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 1976
Kyle Hunter + 1134
Doc's Sports + 1123
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 1740
Jim Feist + 815
Kyle Hunter + 626
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 1649
Gary Bart + 1378
Dave Cokin + 1169
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 882
TJ Pemberton + 651
Jimmy Boyd + 483
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 947
Joe Nelson + 820
NeiltheGreek + 606
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership