Washington Nationals: Adam Eaton injury a glimpse into the future

Adam Eaton #2 of the Washington Nationals during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 1, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 6-0. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Adam Eaton #2 of the Washington Nationals during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 1, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 6-0. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /
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A potential precursor of things to come, Adam Eaton lands on the injured list and will not be in the lineup for the Washington Nationals in the near future.

Has Adam Eaton played his way out of town? Eaton is a very serviceable outfielder who was a big part of the World Series team a year ago. In the “what have you done for me lately” world of professional sports, his days with the Washington Nationals may be numbered.

Eaton will draw the ire from some fans as he was the man acquired which sent Lucas Giolito to the Chicago White Sox in a trade four years ago. While Giolito is coming into his own, throwing a no-hitter this year on the heels of an All-Star campaign in 2019, where he also finished sixth in the Cy Young voting.

Current starting pitching problems aside, at the time of the trade, the Nationals needed a leadoff hitter. They found one in Adam Eaton. His first two seasons in town were marred by injury. While on the field he hit .297 and .301, respectively.

Last year, Eaton scored a career high 103 runs and hit a career high 15 home runs. He set the table nicely for the big bats behind him. Don’t forget his World Series, where he hit .320 with two long balls and six runs batted in. For this, Adam Eaton is the real winner of the Nationals/White Sox, Giolito/Eaton swap.

A tumultuous 2020 and the fact the Nationals have a team option on the $10.5M Eaton is owed next year, may mean his days in DC are numbered.

At times this year Eaton has looked old (31), lost at the plate (.226), and without a home in the batting order (after slumping in the 2 spot, he has hit leadoff, fifth, sixth, and eighth).

Now he finds himself on the injured list with a fractured finger, and the Nationals will get a taste of what the outfield will look like next year without him, if they decide to decline the team option and buy Eaton out at $1.5M.

This could mean Michael A. Taylor gets a long look over the next week. He is another guy in limbo with the team, struggling to find playing time. Brock Holt has played right field before, though not since joining the Nationals, and could be in the mix for a utility job with the team next season. Yadiel Hernandez could pick up a few at-bats in right field to see if he has a future in Washington.

Next. Nick Johnson, potential that didn't pan out. dark

Regardless of who the Nats throw out there these next ten days, get used to seeing a new face in right field. As you may not be seeing Adam Eaton out there at all after this season.

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