Nationals outfielder Juan Soto left Sunday’s matchup with the Mets in the seventh inning after suffering an apparent ankle injury while rounding third base. Following the Nats’ win, Sam Fortier of the Washington Post reports that Soto suffered a mild ankle sprain and that X-rays came back negative. Soto has been listed as day-to-day.
Needless to say, Sunday’s victory was a bittersweet one after a nerve-wracking scene saw the team’s star 20-year-old roll his ankle while rounding third. However, it appears that the Nationals and their fans can breathe a tentative sigh of relief; the injury won’t require an IL stint and Soto likely won’t miss an expended period. In fact, Alex Chappell of MASN adds that Soto suggested that he may be able to return to the lineup as early as tomorrow. Of course, it seems likely that the Nationals will be careful not to rush their phenom back to action, but it’s a promising sign that Soto anticipates a hasty return.
Soto has entered rarefied air with prodigious offensive success at such an advanced age, displaying elite plate discipline and power that has fueled a .944 OPS this season, solidifying himself as a cornerstone of the playoff-hopeful Nationals lineup. Should he miss a game or two over the next few days, the Nationals are well-equipped with Gerardo Parra on tap to step into the lineup. Parra, though surely an offensive downgrade from the unparalleled Soto, has enjoyed a successful Nats tenure, posting a solid .845 OPS in 58 games as the club’s reserve outfielder.