WASHINGTON -- It appears the Nationals will be without their leadoff hitter Adam Eaton for a little while, after the left fielder was a late scratch from Tuesday night's 4-1 victory with a bone bruise on his left ankle. Eaton underwent an MRI, the results of which can be expected Wednesday morning, and while no move had been made by the team to place him on the disabled list, Eaton sounded like he was anticipating at least a short DL stint.
Additionally, The Washington Post reported that the Nationals plan to call up outfielder Moises Sierra to take Eaton's place on the active roster. The club has not confirmed the report.
"You know, bone bruises, I don't know, I guess they take a little longer," Eaton said when asked if he expected to go on the DL. "I would expect that but I'm not 100 percent sure what their decision will be. I'm not sure."
Eaton tweaked his left ankle last week against the Mets, and he was forced him to miss a start on Saturday. After the injury, Eaton seemed surprised by how good he felt and even pinch-hit during Saturday's game. He did not play Monday night, but manager Dave Martinez said that was a scheduled day off.
Even on Tuesday night, Eaton said his ankle felt good, but it only hurts when he walks and jogs. He said when he sprints, throws or hits he does not feel any pain. But he anticipated that with a week of relaxing and strengthening his ankle, he could begin ramping up activity rather quickly afterward.
"We can either keep playing or mess around with it for the whole year, or we can get it right and wash it away and be good," Eaton said. "We're really going to concentrate on strength and the process of getting it better. And get my quad correct and everything. And work on things we kind of ran out of time with in Spring Training, so this might be a little blessing in disguise. That's kind of how we're looking at it going forward."
Eaton has been one of the team's hottest hitters through the start of the season. In eight games, he is batting .345/.424/.655 with 10 runs scored. Washington has been careful with Eaton's playing time as he works his way back from a torn ACL in his left knee, but he has also been playing so well that keeping him out of a lineup that is also without Daniel Murphy has been difficult. And while Eaton was encouraged by the strength in his knee at this point in the season, he acknowledged his ankle will need monitoring as well.
"We want to be very, very cautious with him right now," Martinez said.
Montero back from paternity list, Solano to DL
The Nationals reinstated catcher Miguel Montero from the paternity list prior to Tuesday's game, and placed Jhonatan Solano on the 10-day disabled list with bone spurs in his right elbow. Montero missed the past three games while back home in Arizona after his wife gave birth to their third child, a baby boy.
The Nationals can expect their catchers to return to full strength at some point this week. Matt Wieters, who is on the DL with a mild left oblique strain, began a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Potomac on Tuesday night. He went 1-for-4 at the plate and caught seven innings behind the plate.
The Nationals could carry three catchers on their roster for a while when Wieters returns, as Pedro Severino has continued to play well in their absence.