Bill Ladson

Span takes batting practice, shags fly balls

Span takes batting practice, shags fly balls

WASHINGTON -- Nationals center fielder Denard Span swung a bat outdoors Wednesday for the first time since going on the disabled list on July 10 retroactive to July 7. He took a couple of rounds of batting practice in the cage, but felt tired by the third round. Span said he felt fatigued because of a lack of conditioning.

Span also shagged fly balls for the first time and didn't have any problems with his back or abdominal muscles.

Span needs to find out how his body responds to the workout. If he feels good by Thursday, he could be doing the same drills that he did on Wednesday.

If Span continues to progress, he could take live batting practice by Friday. Span has not ruled out going on a rehab assignment sometime next week.

"Each day that goes by, I feel like I'm getting in better shape. It's so easy to get out of shape," Span said. "I think once I start getting into games, have my cleats on, running back and forth to the dugout, chase some balls in the gap, that's when I'll probably get back into playing shape."

Span was hitting .304 in 59 games before he was placed on the disabled list.

Worth noting

• Right-hander Stephen Strasburg had a bullpen session on Tuesday, but manager Matt Williams didn't say if Strasburg was going to pitch in a big league game next week. The decision will probably be made Thursday.

• Right-hander David Carpenter (shoulder inflammation) received a third opinion on his shoulder recently and he said things are improving.

Carpenter didn't say why he had two additional opinions on his shoulder, but it appears he didn't like the initial diagnosis.

"Come to find out that the initial diagnosis was kind of drastic," said Carpenter, who declined to say what the original diagnosis revealed. "I went to two other [doctors and they] told me, 'It's not nearly what [the first doctor] thought it was. As long as you are not feeling any pain or any weakness, you can start trying to throw again.' You can kind of progress that way. I'm building back up."

There is no timetable as to when Carpenter will return to the field.

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