Decision to remove Nats OF Taylor from exhibition game 'precautionary'

Brian Tinsman
March 14, 2019 - 11:49 pm

On paper, the Washington Nationals are ready to move on without superstar Bryce Harper.

His game had become one-dimensional in recent seasons, with his outfield defense lagging far behind the quartet of Adam Eaton, Victor Robles, Juan Soto or Michael A. Taylor.

But if any of those players suffer injuries, it will be a painful reminder of Harper's absence. 

On Thursday, they got a taste of what that might feel like, as Taylor left Thursday's exhibition game in the third inning with an apparent knee injury suffered while making a diving catch.

According to MASN's Mark Zuckerman:

Taylor, who appeared to get his left foot caught in the turf as he leaped to make the catch, got back to his feet and after a brief conversation stayed in the game. But it was clear he was less than 100 percent healthy.

Taylor left the game after that half of the inning. It's unclear how worrisome his condition might be, but skipper Dave Martinez called the decision to remove Taylor precautionary. Team doctors will revisit the issue on Friday.

Taylor is slated to be an important part of the outfield rotation this season, with his ability to play well at all three spots. 

The team has one other option in big league camp, as Hunter Jones vies for a spot as a non-roster invitee. Utilityman Howie Kendrick is also still working his way back from injury.

At this point, there is no reason to jump to conclusions about Taylor's prognosis. But if the Nats find themselves short of healthy outfielders this year, it will be another reminder of life after Bryce.

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