After losing two straight games to the division rival New York Mets in the nation’s capital, the Washington Nationals have been dealt another blow. On Friday night, center fielder Adam Eaton suffered an injury to his leg on a ground ball, in which he beat out, but landed awkwardly on the bag. The transpiring news isn’t good at all. According to Ken Rosenthal, Eaton will undergo surgery on what is a torn ACL in his left knee.
Sources: #Nationals’ Eaton has torn ACL, out for year.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 29, 2017
As Rosenthal adds, Eaton will miss the remainder of the year.
Eaton’s injury is a major blow to the Nationals’ World Series aspirations.
Adam Eaton Suffers Torn ACL
Eaton was a key contributor at the top of the order for the Nationals’ lineup, and his absence will hurt them. By hitting .297 and driving in 13 runs, Eaton helped give the Nationals a weapon in their already stacked lineup. The question now becomes who replaces him?
When it comes to finding Eaton’s replacement, the Nationals will likely go with Michael Taylor.
While he’s encountered an up and down career in both the majors in minors, Taylor could help provide the Nationals with a speedster on both the base paths and in the field. Also, after a slow start to the 2017 season, Taylor finally had a breakout performance, Saturday afternoon versus the Mets. Going three for five, Taylor broke out of his year long slump. He will have to continue to hit at a consistent level going forward though.
Eaton’s injury also doesn’t help out the image of general manager Mike Rizzo.
Rizzo acquired Eaton at the MLB Winter Meetings, but at an extremely high cost. Surrendering top pitching prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, as well as former first round pick Dane Dunning, Rizzo put a lot of forth in Eaton being a big time contributor to the Nationals lineup. His unfortunate and devastating knee injury won’t allow him to do so. It also makes Rizzo look bad, given the plethora of talent he gave up to get him, and the fact that he could’ve given up those assets for a top-tier closer or starter.