Eaton testing ankle but return to Nats unclear
SAN FRANCISCO -- Each day during the West Coast portion of this road trip, Nationals left fielder Adam Eaton has gone out to the outfield, often accompanied by a team trainer, for baseball activities and to further test the bone bruise on his left ankle. Initially, when the team placed him on the disabled list, he was hopeful he could return shortly after the 10 days were complete.
Eaton was eligible to return as early as this past Friday, but he has yet to return to the lineup. And Washington has not revealed much detail about how close he is to returning.
"When you see him in the lineup, he'll be ready," manager Dave Martinez said Monday. "He's coming along. When we get him back, he's a force to reckon with and he helps our lineup out."
Through the first eight games of the year, Eaton was a catalyst at the top of the Nationals' lineup, batting .345/.424/.655 while scoring 10 runs. But at times he appeared to be hampered while running and then on April 5 he tweaked his left ankle trying to score on a play at the plate.
The Nats saw this stint on the DL as a way to ease back on Eaton's workload a bit and ensure he is completely healthy. Martinez said Monday that Eaton is still feeling some discomfort in his ankle, so it's up to the training staff to determine when Eaton is ready to go. Martinez had said he was "hopeful" Eaton would be able to return at some point during this three-game series in San Francisco.
While Eaton has played catch and taken batting practice, it's whether he will require a Minor League rehab stint before returning to the Nats.
"When we get him back this time, we don't want any issues," Martinez said. "We want him to go out there and play and not worry about anything."
• Brian Goodwin is working out at the team's complex in West Palm Beach, Fla., as he nurses his left wrist contusion. Goodwin, who has been on the DL since April 17, attempted to swing a bat recently, but the discomfort in his wrist has not yet subsided.
"He's another guy that people don't talk about but he was big for us," Martinez said. "He was a big part of this team."