Viewed by many as a pivotal piece to get this Diamondbacks team back on track, injured outfielder Adam Eaton began his rehab assignment Friday night with the AAA Reno Aces in Tacoma.
Eaton will begin the assignment as a designated hitter until he is ready to play the outfield, as he did Friday night, batting leadoff for the Aces and going 1-5 with a single and three strikeouts.
One promising fact to mention: he came up to lead off the ninth, down a run and attempted to bunt on the first pitch. It went foul, but that’s something I can’t say I’ve seen these “gritty” Diamondbacks do all too often in their plethora of close games.
Reno is no stranger to the speedy youngster. Eaton is a bit of a fan favorite with Aces fans after winning the 2012 Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year Awards. He led the league in seven major statistical categories, including hitting .381 with 38 stolen bases.
The Diamondbacks figure he will rejoin the big league club later this month. Regardless of the team’s time table, it’s nothing but great news that Eaton is progressing in his recovery. This rehab assignment tells that no matter what the team wants to come out and say officially, he is playing baseball and should be ready to play it at the major league level very soon, barring any setbacks in the next few days.
The last real date the D-Backs put out was the end of May, and one would have to think it will be sooner than that when we seen him donning Sedona red again, especially if the team’s woes continue. We’ll know he’s truly getting close when he starts taking the field.
Too bad he can’t pitch out of the bullpen.