- The Washington Times - Friday, July 7, 2017

Nationals center fielder Michael A. Taylor is headed to the 10-day disabled list with a mild right oblique strain, and outfielder Chris Heisey will be activated from the DL to replace him.

Taylor exited Thursday’s game against the Atlanta Braves in the third inning, but said he has been dealing with the injury for a while. Taylor made contact with a four-seam 96.8 mile per hour fastball that fouled off in the third inning, and Taylor said he felt a sharp pain in his side.

“I’ve kind of been dealing with it for a couple of weeks now,” Taylor said. “I’ve been trying to manage it for a couple of weeks now. On that swing, it made it worse.”

The loss is a deflating blow to the Nationals as Taylor was having the best season of his career. The 26-year-old is batting .278 and has 12 home runs.

This also marks another injury to the Nationals, who have had to replace the production of Jayson Werth, Trea Turner and Adam Eaton for large chunks of the season. Taylor, as well as outfielder Brian Goodwin, has helped the Nationals sustain those injuries.

Taylor, in particular, helped the Nationals not miss a beat after Eaton tore his ACL in April. 

Taylor missed a game on June 21 against the Miami Marlins to try and heal the injury.

“It was starting to go the right way,” Taylor said. “It’s just been up and down since then. I tried to manage my reps and things like that to give myself the time to heal. But when you play it’s kind of tough to do that.”

Taylor said instead of dragging it out, he’ll focus now on getting 100 percent. He did not blame the injury on the three hour and five minute non-rain, rain delay the Nationals went through on Thursday, maintaining it’s been a nagging injury. 

The Nationals will call-up Heisey, who was Werth’s primary backup before being sent to the DL with a right biceps rupture on May 24. He’s missed 39 games since.

Heisey, though, has been rehabbing with the Syracuse Chiefs, the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate. He has batted .238 in seven games in Syracuse.

A timetable for Taylor’s injury wasn’t given, but manager Dusty Baker said he hopes the time off for the All-Star break will help.

“Hopefully, he’ll be ready shortly after the break, those four days of all star count toward the DL,” Baker said. “You want to get him well because you don’t want that to come back.”

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