Baker said the team initially thought Revere’s injury was not serious, but that the 27-ear-old was more sore Wednesday than he had been when he came in for treatment on the day off Tuesday. Thinking he probably would not be ready within a week, the Nationals decided they could not afford to play down a player that long, and placed him on the DL. He will undergo an MRI when the team gets home Thursday. Michael A. Taylor will start in his place Wednesday.
“Hey man, you guys were wondering when Michael’s going to play, or how much he’s going to play,” Baker said. “I’m just glad we have Michael. And we’re going to call den Dekker up. He probably didn’t anticipate the call. But I said it was going to take the whole organization to win this thing, and I’m glad we have the depth that we have.”
Revere started in center field and led off Monday against the Braves but left in the fourth inning as the pain in his side, he said, made it difficult to breathe. Now Taylor, who hit .453 with four home runs this spring, will take over center field and is leading off in Wednesday’s lineup. Baker said he doesn’t necessarily see Taylor as a leadoff man moving forward — more a sixth or seventh hitter, ideally — but that he did not want to disrupt the rest of his lineup by shuffling everybody out of spots they have grown accustomed to since the last couple weeks of spring training.
“I called Michael in today and I said: ‘Hey, man. See how many times you can get on base and start off the game. Your job now is to get on base, whether you bunt, whether you hit.’,” Baker said. “And Michael has the ability to lead us off 1-0, too. And you only lead off a couple times a game. The rest of the time, you’re up depending on the situation.”
The Nationals enjoyed a mostly injury-free spring but that changed one game into the season. Oblique strains can be tricky and require time to heal. Former Los Angeles Dodgers’s medical director Stan Conte, who has studied decades’ worth of oblique injuries and other injuries across the sport, said in 2013 that position players miss an average of 26 days recovering from the injury. Revere said Monday, before the disabled list stint, that he has been a fast healer in his career.
“Modern medicine’s something different. A lot of it has to do with what kind of blood he has. Some people are quick healers. Some people are bleeders. Some people aren’t,” Baker said. “So versus letting this linger, we decided to take care of this right now, early, and hopefully – which we don’t know – he’ll be ready by the 20th when he’s scheduled to come off.”