Eaton (hamstring) is serving as the designated hitter Thursday for the second day in a row. Eaton is still not ready to occupy an outfield spot, but it's a good sign that he will at least take at-bats for the second day in a row. It seems likely he will have enough time to both get back in the field and get up to full speed before the regular season gets underway.
Eaton (hamstring) will bat second and serve as the Nationals' designated hitter in Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Astros, Julia Morales of AT&T SportsNet Southwest reports. Eaton was out of the lineup for the past eight days with a tight hamstring, but after he was able to run the bases without any apparent complications the past two days, the Nationals have signed off on him playing in a purely offensive role. Washington is likely just taking some extra precaution with the oft-injured outfielder, who should be cleared to man his normal position in the field by time spring training ends.
Eaton (hamstring) was able to get on the field Saturday to hit but was only running at 75-80 percent, Jessica Camerato of MLB.com reports. As yet, the Nats don't believe the veteran outfielder will miss Opening Day, as he got an early jump on training camp in January and won't need to completely start from scratch once he's cleared to return. "I'll start getting concerned if he's not playing within the next five or six days," manager Dave Martinez said Sunday. "We could ramp him up here fairly quickly. For me, I told him -- just like these other guys -- 'Until you show me you can do everything, you're going to just stay back there.' "
Eaton (hamstring) is not in the lineup for either split-squad game on the Nationals' schedule Saturday, according to MLB.com. Manager Dave Martinez downplayed Eaton's injury after he was removed from Tuesday's spring game, but he has not played since; and with an off day Monday, it could still be a few days before he is back in the lineup. As long as he is able to return to action at some point next week, he should be good to go for Opening Day.
Eaton's early exit from Tuesday's game against Baltimore was due to a tweaked left hamstring, Sam Fortier of The Washington Post reports. The issue doesn't appear to be too serious, with manager Dave Martinez saying the outfielder would have stayed in the game if it were a regular-season contest. Assuming Eaton gets back into a game soon, his readiness for Opening Day shouldn't be significantly impacted.