Two of the Nationals' three regular outfielders are not in tonight's lineup, for very different reasons. Denard Span, who streak of consecutive games reaching base came to an end last night at 36, gets a well-deserved and highly rare day off. How rare? Well, since returning from the 7-day concussion DL in mid-April, Span had started all but two games (June 15 in St. Louis and June 28 in the second game of a doubleheader in Chicago). Like I said, this one is well-deserved.
Jayson Werth, on the other hand, is out of the lineup for the fourth time in five games, his injured right shoulder still bothering him. Hopefully Matt Williams will provide reporters in New York an update on Werth later this afternoon.
In the meantime, Michael Taylor (fresh off a dazzling big-league debut) now gets a chance to start in his natural center field position and lead off for the first time. Bryce Harper takes Werth's spot in right field, while Kevin Frandsen starts in left. Jordan Zimmermann is on the mound against veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon as the Nats incredibly seek their 24th win in their last 28 games at Citi Field.