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Diamondbacks' Adam Eaton suffers setback; out at least 2-3 more weeks

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Adam Eaton Adam Eaton is not close to joining the Diamondbacks' lineup. (USATSI)
Adam Eaton is not close to joining the Diamondbacks' lineup. (USATSI)

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Adam Eaton was expected to open the season as the Diamondbacks' everyday center fielder and leadoff hitter, but he instead started the year on the DL due to a left elbow sprain. He recently suffered a setback during his rehab, and the team announced he will be shut down for two or three weeks.

GM Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic the MRI showed fluid around Eaton's elbow ligament, but "the ligament looked the same as his prior MRI, so no new damage." The outfielder is likely to visit Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. The plan calls for rest and strengthening exercises before restarting the rehab process.

Eaton, 24, appeared in 16 minor-league rehab games before the setback. He went 11 for 58 (.190) with six steals in those 16 games, which were split between High Class-A and Triple-A. Since Eaton must restart the entire rehab process, the timetable is more along the lines of four to six weeks than two or three.

Baseball America ranked Eaton as the 73rd-best prospect in the game before the season. He made his big-league debut last September and hit an impressive .259/.382/.412 with two home runs, two steals and nearly as many walks (14) as strikeouts (15). Eaton hit .381/.456/.539 with seven homers and 38 steals in Triple-A in 2012.

A.J. Pollock has primarily handled center field duties for Arizona this year, hitting .253/.276/.432 in 153 plate appearances. Gerardo Parra has seen time at the position and taken over the leadoff spot as well, hitting .304/.374/.473 in 207 plate appearances.

The Diamondbacks are 26-21 and locked in a three-way tie with the Giants and Rockies atop the NL West.

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