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Nationals’ Eaton out for season with torn ACL

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Nationals center fielder Adam Eaton is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Eaton was placed on the 10-day disabled list Saturday morning with a “left knee strain” after he had an MRI on his knee a day after suffering the injury during the Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Mets. But, it was later revealed that Eaton’s injury was more serious than a strain. The Nationals promoted Rafael Bautista from Triple-A Syracuse to fill Eaton’s place on the roster.

Eaton’s leg buckled after he planted his foot on first base as he beat out an infield single in the bottom of the ninth inning. Eaton had to be carried off the field by the training staff after he could not put any pressure on his leg.

The 28-year-old Eaton came to Washington this season via a trade with the White Sox in the offseason in hopes of boosting the Nationals’ outfield as they try to win a World Series now. The Nationals dealt pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning, with Giolito and Lopez being two of the top right-handed prospects in all of Major League Baseball, per MLBPipeline.com.

Eaton has slashed .297/.393/.462 and scored 24 runs in 107 plate appearances as the Nationals’ leadoff hitter. In the 7-5 loss to the Mets, Eaton went 2-for-5 at the dish.

With Eaton now being gone for the year, the NL East-leading Nationals will initially a platoon in center with Chris Heisey, who pinch ran for Eaton on Friday night, Michael Taylor, or Bautista for right now. Taylor started for the club in their Saturday afternoon game against the Mets. However, they may have to consider looking for a better option — such as the Royals’ Lorenzo Cain or the Rangers’ Carlos Gomez — if they want to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2014 and compete for a championship.