Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton exited today’s game, a 7-3 loss to the Mets, after the second inning. Following the defeat, Manager Dave Martinez told Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post that he’s concerned that the veteran Eaton may be dealing with a hamstring issue, after experiencing “back of the knee pain”(link). Eaton has been sent for MRI testing.
It’s inopportune timing for the Nats and troublesome altogether for Eaton. Though the Nats hold a comfortable 3.5-game lead for the primary NL Wild Card spot, a September hamstring injury could preclude Eaton from postseason usage–especially considering the way injuries have dogged the outfielder since his arrival in D.C. via a 2016 trade with the White Sox. That deal, which saw Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning go to the South Side from Washington, was largely debrided as an overpay for the Nationals at the time and, with distance, has only come to seem even more lopsided in Chicago’s favor. Though Eaton provided the Pale Hose with a cumulative 13.5 WAR from 2014-2016, he has struggled to stay on the field with the Nationals, with his 2019 representing his high watermark in terms of games played at just 127. Eaton holds a strong .288/.377/.436 line on the year and was coming off of an August that saw him hit .329 with 5 HRs and 26 runs scored in 23 games.
More items of note from around the National League…
- Redhaired Dodgers rookie Dustin May was nailed by a vicious line drive off the bat of Arizona’s Jake Lamb on Sunday, but, fortunately, appears to have avoided serious injury. Manager Dave Roberts told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that May is dealing with some neck stiffness but “feels fine” after his intimate encounter with a fast-moving baseball (Twitter link). Meanwhile, Gurnick also relays that pitcher Kenta Maeda will be performing in a bullpen capacity in tonight’s game with the Rockies–which is the same capacity he will be expected to function in moving forward (link). This is a similar usage timeline for Maeda as we saw in 2018, when the Japanese vet moved into a high-leverage relief role beginning on Aug. 14 of that year. In 2019, Maeda’s fourth season with the Dodgers, the righty has logged a 4.11 ERA, 3.96 FIP, and 9.72 K/9 across 26 starts.
- With Zack Greinke wearing Astros colors these days, the Diamondbacks will likely be looking to youngster Luke Weaver to lead their pitching staff in coming seasons. After arriving in Phoenix along with catcher Carson Kelly in the deal that sent Paul Goldschmidt to St. Louis, the 26-year-old Weaver flummoxed opposing hitters in his first 11 starts as a D’Back this year. His 9.82 K/9 rate and 2.02 BB/9 rate pairing were fuel for a solid 3.03 ERA over 62.1 innings, but many feared the worst when the righty went down with an elbow injury in May. Since being diagnosed with a mild right flexor pronator strain and a mild right UCL sprain, Weaver has been working on a rehab regimen that, on Monday, called for him to throw a 21-pitch simulated game before his team’s game with the Padres. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert passes word from manager Torey Luvollo regarding that sim game, with the skipper saying that Weaver’s pitches “had life” and that this episode in Weaver’s rehab represents “extremely encouraging news”. The team is expected to determine next steps depending on how the pitcher feels following today’s exercise.