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Nationals promote Rafael Bautista to replace injured Adam Eaton on roster

Less than a decade ago, a 15-year-old Rafael Bautista moved from a rural village in the Dominican Republic to Santo Domingo, the country’s capital city, and joined his first organized baseball league. Three years later, the Nationals signed him for $35,000 as an 18-year-old center fielder — ancient by Dominican prospect standards. And less than six years later, Bautista, now 24, walked into the home clubhouse at Nationals Park on Saturday morning as a major leaguer for the first time.

“Feeling great,” Bautista said. “Awesome time. First time they told me you’re going up. It feels so great, man.”

Bautista was called up from Class AAA Syracuse after Adam Eaton injured his left leg in Washington’s loss to the Mets Friday night. The Nationals are waiting on the results of an MRI exam to know the extent of the injury, but he was placed on the 10-day disabled list Saturday with a “left knee strain.”

Bautista fills Eaton’s roster spot. Syracuse Manager Billy Gardner informed the speedy outfielder of his promotion after the Chiefs’ 7-4 loss in Norfolk Friday. Bautista immediately called his wife, whom he married in December, and his mother in the Dominican Republic.

“I was in shock,” Bautista said, “but it’s real.”

Bautista spent most of spring training in major league camp with the Nationals. He was given significant playing time in all three outfield spots but has played center field for most of his professional career. Spring training statistics often mean zilch, but Bautista batted .316 with a .702 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 23 Grapefruit League games.

Source: washingtonpost.com

Apr 29, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated June 23, 2017 at 12:50 AM
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