Denard Span was a nice surprise of the offseason. The $220 million spending spree was still rattling around in our heads, and we were starting to get used to the idea of Gregor Blanco and/or Mac Williamson and/or Jarrett Parker in left. Then, surprise! New leadoff hitter. New center fielder. Oh, you shouldn't have.
It lasted for a single fly ball. Span had been the DH for most of the spring because of a sore left shoulder, and he jammed his right shoulder on a Robinson Cano triple on Thursday. Here's a quote, relayed by Andrew Baggarly:
"He jammed it pretty good and it was bothering him," Bochy said. "That’s why he came out."
In the spring, teams and managers can say "He's fine, but why take the risk?" over and over and over again, and no one pays attention. If something bursts out of John Hurt's chest in the middle of a spring start, his manager will say, "He's fine, but why take the risk?" after he leaves the game. So for an outfielder to jam a shoulder pretty good? He probably jammed it pretty, pretty good.
Pretty, pretty good.
It's worth noting that Mac Williamson took over in center, with Angel Pagan playing in left, which just might be a little foreshadowing. Williamson had never played center in a professional game, whereas Pagan had played center for most of his professional games. My guess would be that the Giants don't see the point of giving Pagan less time in left field, where he'll play on Opening Day, most likely. It's still impressive how committed they are to the cause after Span left the game.
At this point, though, we just have to assume that Gregor Blanco is a sorcerer with eerie powers, and we should all fear him. It was he who created the fake steroids website with his mind in 2012. It was he who convinced the Giants that Kensuke Tanaka and a broken Andres Torres would be his competition in 2013. It was he who made Walt Weiss keep Michael Cuddyer in right field during an extra innings game at AT&T Park, and it was he who told Tim Flannery to wave a sputtering Pagan in for the inside-the-park home run. It was he who broke Pagan's back the next season, and it was he who made Juan Perez drop the ball in Game 7, just so we wouldn't think so much about his own screw up.
It is possible that Gregor Blanco has ensorcelled everyone he has ever been around. It is possible that he controls your thoughts and actions right now.
It's also possible that Denard Span will miss a chunk of time, which is a shame, considering he was just getting going in the spring. He has to be a little rusty after his herky-jerky season of injury problems and stop/starts last year. He wasn't the key to the offseason, but he sure was nice to have in the lineup. At least, the thought of a healthy Span sure was nice to have in the lineup.
They still might get that Span. If you believe in omens, though, here's one. The guy who suffered through three unrelated injuries last year now has a fourth unrelated injury. It happened on his first attempt of the spring.