Add another injury to the list for the Nationals tonight, as Michael Taylor was forced to exit in the top of the seventh inning against the Padres after crashing into the outfield fence.
Taylor, who made the start in center field in place of Denard Span, was trying to track down a fly ball off the bat of Melvin Upton, Jr. and made a leap. However, he came up empty-handed and hit the wall at full speed. Upton ended up with a triple on the play.
According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, Taylor appeared to suffer an injury to his right knee. Bryce Harper took his place in center field while Danny Espinosa moved over to left field and Trea Turner entered the game to play second base.
With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.
It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.
Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.
Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.