Juan Soto’s 1 for 4 night against the San Francisco Giants left the Washington Nationals’ 19-year-old rookie with a .339/.431/.571, and the one hit he connected on was a two-run home run to left field off left-hander Andrew Suarez that was his third of the year ... and third off a left-handed pitcher. Not bad. Not bad.
“He’s been really good,” Davey Martinez told reporters after the Nats’ 9-5 loss to the Giants.
“Like I said, I love his at bats, his intensity. He’s having fun out there and I love watching him play.”
Soto’s performed admirably with a number of Nationals’ outfielders injured and unavailable, but even with Adam Eaton expected to return to the lineup, reports this week, including in a post by FRSBaseball’s Jon Heyman, said that the, “... word going around is that the Nationals plan to keep Juan Soto up even when their injured stars return.”
Martinez was asked about Eaton playing center in the minors, and what he heard about the 29-year-old outfielder’s work out there after he started the season in left field for the Nats.
Will Eaton play center when he returns... which would mean Michael A. Taylor, who’s finally hitting in the last few weeks, would go to the bench?
“We’ll see,” Martinez said, not offering any hints.
“For me, it’s a really good problem to have. We’ve got a lot of good outfielders, so we’ll sit down and draw up how we want to do this and make sure they all play.”
Taking it slow with Eaton makes sense, after he injured his left knee and ankle last season, underwent surgery, and then re-injured the ankle this season and eventually had surgery again four weeks back.
“We definitely need to take care of him,” Martinez said. “Last time we thought he was okay.
“Obviously he wasn’t. So, we want to make sure that this time we have him for the rest of the season.”
The rest of the season starts for Eaton today. He’s penciled in as the Nationals’ right fielder this afternoon (Quelle surprise). Soto is in left. Bryce Harper’s in center field. Martinez you diabolical genius...