Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Taylor, Eaton on track after returning to action

Both players expect to be ready for Opening Day
Special to MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. -- Neither Michael A. Taylor nor Adam Eaton reported any setbacks following Saturday's Grapefruit League action, Washington manager Dave Martinez said.

For Eaton, who is returning from left knee surgery, the game marked his spring debut. Taylor had played in five Grapefruit League games prior to Saturday's action, but he missed two weeks because of right side soreness. Both players received the day off on Sunday.

View Full Game Coverage

JUPITER, Fla. -- Neither Michael A. Taylor nor Adam Eaton reported any setbacks following Saturday's Grapefruit League action, Washington manager Dave Martinez said.

For Eaton, who is returning from left knee surgery, the game marked his spring debut. Taylor had played in five Grapefruit League games prior to Saturday's action, but he missed two weeks because of right side soreness. Both players received the day off on Sunday.

View Full Game Coverage

"I told them yesterday, just rest," Martinez said.

Martinez figured Eaton in particular could use an easy day.

"I'm assuming just his whole body in general might be stiff," Martinez said.

Video: NYM@WSH: Eaton clubs solo homer to right-center field

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Both players are expected to be ready to play at Cincinnati in the Nationals' March 29 opener -- Taylor in center field and Eaton in left. The pair received plenty of at-bats on the back fields prior to Saturday. Taylor is probably closer than Eaton to being ready.

"I think Michael, he's ready to go," Martinez said. "It's just making sure that we don't aggravate anything and get him ready for the 29th."

Washington listed Eaton and Taylor as starting outfielders for Monday's scheduled lineup vs. Miami. Martinez would like to see both appear in back-to-back games before the Nationals break camp on March 25.

"We'll dictate that according to how they are feeling," Martinez said.

Adams returns
Scratched from Saturday's lineup because of tightness in his left calf, Matt Adams was back at first base on Sunday against the Cardinals.

The primary backup for Ryan Zimmerman at first base, Adams is working with hitting coach Kevin Long to become a more complete offensive threat.

"I told him I was tired of being labeled a guy that can't hit lefties," Adams said.

In his career, Adams is a .286 hitter against righties, but only .206 against left-handers. This spring, he's opened his stance against lefties -- a tweak Long successfully made to the approach of Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda while with the Mets. Doing so affords Adams a better angle to track pitcher's arm slots and release points.

Video: STL@WSH: Adams laces an RBI single to right field

"I feel like I've faced more lefties than I have righties this spring," Adams said. "I'm seeing the ball good, putting some good swings on balls. I think that's all I can ask for right now."

Adams entered Sunday's game hitting .320 this spring. In Sunday's first at-bat, he laid down a successful bunt against an over-shifted Cardinals infield for a single that led off the second inning.

Two out
Zimmerman and second baseman Daniel Murphy remained out of the Nationals' lineup on Sunday.

Recovering from knee surgery, Murphy has yet to play in a Grapefruit League game. He is showing better range while taking ground balls on the back fields with assistant coach Tim Bogar.

"Bogar said he's getting there -- a lot better than the first day of ground balls," Martinez said.

Zimmerman continues to follow his own plan on the back fields, but Martinez said he's expected to play in a Grapefruit League game "really soon."

"He's very content, and I like it," Martinez said.

Up next
Max Scherzer will get the ball for the Nationals on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET against Miami. After that, Scherzer is on schedule to make one more start in Florida. Listen to the game on Gameday Audio.

Chuck King is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Nationals on Sunday.

Washington Nationals, Adam Eaton, Michael A. Taylor