Game #24 without Adam Eaton, #Nats must move forward

After the leg injury to Adam Eaton last night, the Washington Nationals will move Eaton to the disabled-list, and Rafael Bautista will be called up to take his roster spot. It is unknown at this time who will actually be the primary centerfielder. The Nationals could move Trea Turner back to centerfield and Wilmer Difo back to shortstop or go with Michael Taylor or just hand the spot to Rafael Bautista who impressed during spring training.

The 24-year-old right-handed Bautista was signed out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 18 for $350,000. Here is what Bautista’s statistics look like: Last 10 games at Triple-A Syracuse was batting .326 with an overall slash of .291/.325/.354/.680. Bautista is a singles hitter who uses his legs to stretch singles into doubles. Last year at Double-A Harrisburg, he stole 56 bases while being caught 10 times. This year, Bautista’s speed game at Triple-A has not been good. At Syracuse, Bautista has only stolen 3 bases and has also been caught stealing 3 times. Maybe the cold Syracuse weather has played a factor in his speed game.

The Nationals had 3 immediate choices for promotion. They could choose from Brian Goodwin, Double-A stand-out Andrew Stevenson, and Rafael Bautista. Long-term decisions will be dependent on the prognosis of Adam Eaton, but also how the new centerfield configuration works out. It took the Nationals several months last year to figure out their solution to centerfield when Ben Revere was injured on Opening Day and Michael Taylor replace him and struggled. When Revere returned, he slumped and the permanent solution was moving Trea Turner to centerfield where he put up MVP-type statistics.

The starting pitchers today are Stephen Strasburg and Zack Wheeler. On Monday, Strasburg missed his start to go on paternity leave for the birth of his second daughter. Zack Wheeler faced the Nationals last weekend when he gave up 4 runs over 7 innings.

Here are the Nationals stats against Wheeler:

New York Mets at Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, South Capitol St. SE, Washington, DC
1st Pitch:  1:05 pm EDT
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® (Internet 869)

Line-ups  (subject to change without notice):

  1. Trea Turner SS
  2. Michael Taylor CF
  3. Bryce Harper RF
  4. Ryan Zimmerman 1B
  5. Daniel Murphy 2B
  6. Anthony Rendon 3B
  7. Jayson Werth LF
  8. Jose Lobaton C
  9. Stephenn Strasburg RHP

UPDATED: It’s official. Rafael Bautista is added to the roster, and the Nationals place Eaton on the 10-day DL with what they are calling a left knee strain. The results of the MRI could be revealed after the game.

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