Washington Nationals: Adam Eaton likely to return on Saturday

bfinney
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 3: Adam Eaton #2 of the Washington Nationals reacts after hitting a double against the Miami Marlins in the third inning of the opening day game at Nationals Park on April 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 3: Adam Eaton #2 of the Washington Nationals reacts after hitting a double against the Miami Marlins in the third inning of the opening day game at Nationals Park on April 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

It’s been a long road back, but it looks like Washington Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton is set to return on Saturday. He’s ready to help contribute again.

Spotted in the Washington Nationals clubhouse before the game on Friday night, Adam Eaton looks set to finally return on Saturday. Against a left-hander in Andrew Suarez, the Nats decided they were best to wait until Saturday before activating him.

Eaton had been on a rehab assignment between the Harrisburg Senators and Potomac Nationals the past week. But now all signs point to him being activated before the Nats lunch time game on Saturday.

While rehabbing Eaton had gone just 3 for 17, but he did hit a two-run homer with the P-Nats. It means that they’ll need to ease the outfielder back into major league pitching. But he’ll be a huge addition to a lineup that’s been consistently inconsistent this season.

More from District on Deck

Eaton was arguably the team’s best hitter before going on the DL in early April. So far in 2018 he’s hitting .345 with two homers and an OPS of 1.079.

With his recent injury history with the Nats, that’s caused him to miss the bulk of two seasons, expect them to play it cautiously to start off. And with the revelation of Juan Soto, they can afford to.

During his seven rehab games, he played three in center-field and four in left-field. This would seem to indicate that they will consider putting him in center to give them a strong hitting outfield with him, Soto and Bryce Harper.

No roster move has been announced to add Adam Eaton back to the 40 man roster. There are a few ways they could go about it, given the outfield logjam they’re currently in.

In the short term, they could place Daniel Murphy on the 60 day disabled list, given that it wouldn’t affect when he can be activated. Then they could option Adrian Sanchez back to Triple-A Syracuse. This would leave short of a reserve middle infielder, but it allows them to keep their best healthy bats on the roster.

Alternatively, they may just cut to the chase and designate Brian Goodwin for assignment. This is probably a move that will probably happen at some point, but it’s a question of when it will happen. Goodwin unfortunately seems to be the odd man out in a crowded outfield. The Nats could likely still get something in return for him, but by DFA-ing the outfielder, they lose a lot of leverage.

The least likely option is optioning Juan Soto back to the minor leagues, but don’t rule it out. If he wasn’t hitting the cover off the ball, then they would send him down to ensure he plays everyday. But with the way he’s swinging the bat, he’s earned a regular spot in the outfield at the big league level.

Next: Andrew Stevenson Interview

Adam Eaton’s return is a huge boost to the Washington Nationals as the spark plug we saw at the start of the season. The Nats are also glad to have the luxury of being able to ease him back into action. Welcome back Mighty Mouse!

facebooktwitterreddit