WASHINGTON — Denard Span was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday by the Nationals, who hope the return of their centerfielder can fuel a playoff charge.
The former Tampa Catholic standout missed 40 games with a back injury. He will bat atop a lineup that operated for lengthy stretches this season without injured stars Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon.
"It's nice to have those guys back and be at full strength offensively," manager Matt Williams said. "It gives us a little bit of an option."
Span is batting .304 with a .367 on-base percentage and a .430 slugging percentage in 59 games this season and is 11-for-11 in steals.
Washington, which was heavily favored to win the division going into the season, began the day trailing the Mets by 51/2 games in the NL East.
Span, 31, intends to ease his way back into being an everyday player.
"I haven't played in a long time. My body still needs to get into shape," he said. "I've played one nine-inning game, and I was sore after that."
STANTON CLOSE: Marlins All-Star RF Giancarlo Stanton said he's about a week and a half away from rejoining the lineup after being sidelined since June 26 with a broken left hand. Also, the Marlins activated Gold Glove LF Christian Yelich from the disabled left after he had recovered from a bruised right knee.
ANGELS: 2B Johnny Giavotella went on the 15-day disabled list with what the team called a "personal medical condition."
DODGERS: 2B Howie Kendrick, out since Aug. 10 with a strained left hamstring, could be cleared for minor-league rehab games by the end of the week.
INDIANS: RHP Carlos Carrasco has a sore pitching shoulder and is likely headed to the disabled list.
RANGERS: RHP Yu Darvish said he has had no pain since he started throwing last week for the first time since having Tommy John surgery in spring training.
RED SOX: LF Hanley Ramirez, rated as possibly the worst defensive player in baseball this year by advanced metrics, has been working out at first base and said he expects to play there next season. … Don Orsillo, who has done play-by-play on TV broadcasts since 2001, will not return after his contract expires at the end of the season. He is expected to be replaced by current radio broadcaster Dave O'Brien.
YANKEES: 1B Mark Teixeira returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a bruised right shin. … An exam on the arthritic right knee of LHP CC Sabathia showed no new damage, and the pitcher said he thinks he can return to the mound in September.