Jerry Hairston Jr. has apparently been playing through a hip injury for three months without telling anyone, but the Dodgers utility man finally had to shut things down and has been placed on the disabled list.
Hairston got off to a great start, hitting .366 with a .960 OPS through June 10, but since then–a span of slightly more than two months–he’s hit just .204 with a .556 OPS in 44 games.
At age 36 it’s very possible that Hairston simply stopped performing well, but as is so often the case there’s also a pretty good chance that playing through the injury for three months didn’t actually help the Dodgers all that much.
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.