Desperate for healthy outfielders after both Denard Span and Michael Taylor were injured Thursday night, the Nationals recalled Matt den Dekker from Class AAA Syracuse before Friday’s series opener against the Marlins.
Den Dekker officially takes the roster spot that opened up when Span was placed back on the 15-day disabled list Friday, this time with a left hip injury that is expected to sideline the 31-year-old for the rest of the season.
Span had just returned Tuesday from a 7-week stint on the DL with a lower back injury but made it through only two games before having to be shelved again, the pain becoming too severe for him to attempt to continue playing. He is expected to undergo surgery next week, according to a club source.
Span’s injury is a big blow to the Nationals, but it became even bigger when Taylor injured his right knee trying to make a spectacular catch at the center field wall during Thursday’s win over the Padres. Taylor slammed into the wall and fell to a heap, ultimately having to be helped off the field by teammate Jayson Werth and assistant athletic trainer Steve Gober. He was initially diagnosed with a knee contusion, his status day-to-day, though more tests were expected.
Den Dekker rejoins the Nationals for the third time this season. In 26 games, the outfielder has hit .184 with two homers, five RBI and a .606 OPS. He was hitting .249 with eight homers and 32 RBI in 73 games at Syracuse.