Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though. We’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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Through 24 games this season, the Nationals have been doing great. They have a 16-8 record, and their big players (Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy) are doing exactly what they need to do, i.e. playing super well. Everything was gliding along smoothly until Friday when center fielder Adam Eaton suffered a horrific-looking injury while trying to beat out an infield single. And it didn't just look bad — it IS bad. Eaton has reportedly torn his ACL, and if it's true, he'll be out for the rest of the season.
That's a tough blow for pretty much everyone involved. Eaton was off to a marvelous start, hitting .297/.393/.462 with seven doubles and two home runs. That's exactly what the Nationals hoped he'd do when they traded for him last winter. The Nats sent a hefty package to the White Sox during their offseason fire sale: Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning. Giolito was incredibly important to the Nationals, which should tell you how much they wanted Eaton. Plus, he's signed through 2021, so they don't have worry about center field for a long while. Theoretically, anyway.
So where do the Nationals go now? For the time being, they've got Michael Taylor in center field, who isn't nearly as fearsome as Eaton is with the bat or the glove. They could also shuffle their other players around a little bit: Harper could play some center and so could Trea Turner, who spent the 2016 season in that spot. But there won't be a perfect replacement, of course, because what the Nationals want is Eaton back. But they're in a better place than most teams: Their core is solid enough to withstand this kind of loss. At least until they get their hands on a time machine. Then they'll get Eaton back, and no one will remember any of this ever happened.
- Cody Bellinger hit his first-ever major league home run last night and followed that up with his second one later in the game, so it's a good time to read Grant Brisbee's article on Bellinger's potential.
- Bellinger's second home run was part of a three-homer comeback that tied the Dodgers and the Phillies in the ninth inning last night, and who doesn't like watching three homers hit essentially together?
- Is it trade rumor time already? It must be because the Nats are apparently interested in Kelvin Herrera.
- Viva El Birdos says it's time for the Cardinals to demote reliever Kevin Siegrist.
- Eric Thames was tested again, because sure, why shouldn't MLB continue to not-so-subtly imply that he's juicing.
- Yankees reliever Jeff Degano is having trouble throwing strikes, and Pinstripe Alley investigates why that might be.
- Carlos Gomez hit for the cycle on his son's birthday.
- Mark Reynolds broke his bat but still managed to hit a home run, which is all kinds of incredible.