Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network reported that Washington Nationals center fielder Adam Eaton is done for the season with a torn ACL
The Washington Nationals got some bad news tonight about their prized offseason acquisition, center fielder Adam Eaton. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network tweeted that Eaton has a torn ACL and his 2017 season is over:
This is a major blow to a Nats team that had in essence two leadoff hitters with Eaton and Trea Turner. In 23 games this season, Eaton hit .297 with two home runs, 13 RBI’s, and had an on-base percentage of .393. He was third in the National League in runs scored (24) and ninth in walks (14).
With Eaton done for the year, it appears Michael Taylor will be the new center fielder for the foreseeable future. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post tweeted tonight that Taylor will get extended playing time. He went 3-for-5 today in the Nats 5-3 loss to the New York Mets:
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It will be tough for the Nats to replace Eaton in the lineup because he could take pitches, get on base, and made some good catches in center field. Taylor is a good defender in the outfield, but he has not put up good offensive numbers when given the opportunity to play the last couple of years.
Now, it is too early to judge the trade to the White Sox involving Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning. Giolito and Lopez have not had the best numbers at triple-A Charlotte and Dunning was just promoted to high-A Winston Salem after a good start to the season.
Remember, Eaton is under contract for four more years. However, for a player that relies a lot on his legs, you wonder if the 28-year-old will be the same hitter when he recovers.
As for looking externally at the trade deadline, the name that will be floated out there is Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain. Cain has a .396 on-base percentage and six stolen bases in his first 21 games this year and he’s a free agent at the end of the year.
However, when you look at the Washington Nationals, their biggest need is still in the bullpen. Earlier today, Rosenthal said on his Full Count video for FOX Sports that the Nats are interested in reliever Kelvin Herrera. Herrera is under contract until the end of 2018.
Since the Nats lost some of their key prospects in the Eaton deal, it would be tough for them to make blockbuster deals for a center fielder and a closer without gutting most of their farm system.
For now, it’s Taylor’s job to lose. But, it’s safe to say all of us at District On Deck wish Eaton a speedy recovery with this serious injury.