Nationals eyeing June 16 return to hill for Strasburg
Righty throws 'pen session Saturday, set for simulated game Monday
WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who is on the disabled list because of a lat strain, threw a bullpen session Saturday afternoon and said he didn't have any problems throwing. He was able to throw all of his pitches.
Strasburg will throw in a simulated game Monday in Colorado. If things go well, the Nationals are hoping he will be ready to start June 16 against the Indians.
"I don't have any complaints … my arm felt strong. It's pretty much going out there and seeing how it feels. I'm just going to keep going," Strasburg said. "I didn't have any doubts how I was going to feel, just based on how I was feeling the last two days."
Before going on the DL, Strasburg was 3-5 with a 2.54 ERA in 12 starts. Strasburg injured his lat on May 31 against the Braves, lasting only two innings.
Harper's knee better, still visiting doc Monday
WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson said the swelling in Bryce Harper's left knee has gone down, but he will still see Dr. James Andrews on Monday in Florida to determine the severity of the injury.
According to Johnson, Harper is looking to come off the disabled list Tuesday, but Johnson said that is unrealistic.
Harper originally hurt the knee after colliding with the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium on May 13. He didn't go on the disabled list until two weeks later.
Span faces Twins for first time since trade
WASHINGTON -- Outfielder Denard Span still has warm feelings for the Twins even though they traded him to the Nationals last November.
Span actually thought he would be in Minnesota for a long time because, as he put it, he signed a team-friendly contract, which was five years, $16.5 million, in 2010.
"I thought I would be there the entire time," Span said. "But I learned a lot in Minnesota over the years, not just baseball, just how to deal with things in life. Just another life lesson on business, the game, how to approach life."
Span acknowledged that it's a strange feeling to see the Twins on the opposite side of the field. In fact, when we watches them on TV sometimes, he still refer to them as we instead of them.
"It's still an adjustment," Span said. "Honestly, I was starting to move on. I'm a National. Now, they are coming to town. I feel like it's Spring Training and the trade just happened,"
While with the Twins, Span said players such as Joe Nathan, Michael Cuddyer and Jim Thome took Span under their wing, but it was Cuddyer who was most influential.
"I give him a lot of credit. He was on me a lot," Span said. "Mike Redmond as well. They were on me a lot. … I realize the things they were trying to teach me."
Espinosa hopes to resume baseball activities soon
WASHINGTON -- Dr. Wiemi Douguih is going to examine second baseman Danny Espinosa (fractured right wrist) in Washington soon, and if Espinosa is symptom-free, he will likely get a few more days off before resuming baseball activities.
After he was placed on the disabled list Tuesday, Espinosa was given a cortisone shot to help ease the pain in the wrist, which was fractured against the Braves in April. But he never complained about being in pain until late May when the team was in San Francisco.
"With Danny, he will play with a broken arm," manager Davey Johnson said. "He played with a broken hand and he played with a tear in his rotator cuff. He is a gamer. … Hopefully he can't cause any worse damage to the injuries."
Once Espinosa is healed, he will go to the Minor Leagues --- most likely Triple-A Syracuse -- and work on his hitting.
• Nationals outfielder Denard Span and reliever Tyler Clippard were injured in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Twins. In the eighth inning, Clippard hurt his left hand while trying to catch a liner by Pedro Florimon. Clippard managed to throw Florimon out. He had X-rays taken and the results were negative.
While facing Josh Roenicke in the 10th, Span fouled a ball off his right foot, but stayed in the game. He had X-rays taken and the results were negative. Had the game lasted any longer, Span wasn't sure he could have continued to play.
• With the day-night doubleheader Sunday, the Nationals are going to add a 26th player to the Major League roster, according to general manager Mike Rizzo,
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashinNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.