During the ninth inning of a rival game against the Mets on April 28th, Nationals center fielder Adam Eaton hurt his left leg hustling down the first base line. All Nats fans prayed that it wasn’t too serious. However, the next day, reports came out explaining that he was out for the remainder of the season. He had torn his ACL and meniscus, and also suffered a high ankle sprain. Obviously, this was a huge blow to the Nats, as they had just acquired Eaton during the offseason, and he was off to a fabulous start with the team. Prior to the season-ending injury, Eaton was hitting .297 with 13 RBIs and an incredible .393 on-base percentage. He was becoming a great contributor to the offense, as well as proving to be a reliable fielder and quickly gaining the love of many fans.
Even though losing Eaton makes the Nationals’ roster considerably worse, it does not make a World Series title out of reach by any means. Their roster is still one of the best in the league, and the team is currently outperforming everyone else, as they now hold the top record in the MLB. Their 19 wins and 9 losses give them an almost seven-game advantage on all other teams in their division, so the playoffs are practically already a sure thing.
The Nats are going to try to replace Eaton with Michael A. Taylor. Taylor has shown that he is an elite defender in center field, but he has always been subpar at the plate. His career batting average is .231 after several stints in the big leagues. Clearly, he will not act as a spark plug for the lineup like Eaton did. However, he is hitting .275 so far this year, which is a massive improvement from what Nats fans have seen over the last couple of years. If Michael A. Taylor is able to hit even half-decent for the rest of the season, the Nats will surely be able to keep up their winning ways. After all, the rest of their roster stacks up with any other championship contender in the league. So to any Nats fans reading this: do not panic! The team’s title hopes are still very much alive.