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Monday night’s Home Run Derby will have not only a new look, with young sluggers such as Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger participating, but a new sound as well.
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Cubs fans had known that better than anyone, until the team snapped an 108-year drought last season. The Nationals are among the top contending teams this year, but injuries keep standing in their way.
Having already lost Trea Turner, Adam Eaton and Jayson Werth to the disabled list, Washington placed outfielder Michael Taylor on the DL Friday with an oblique strain. Oblique injuries have been all the rage in MLB this season, but the Nats could ill-afford another major loss.
Turner is out with a broken wrist. The timetable for his return is still unknown, but a multi-week absence is expected. Eaton, who the Nats acquired via a king’s ransom, is out for the season with a torn ACL. Werth is expected to start a rehab assignment soon, so he could return after the All-Star break.
Taylor, 26, had been starting in center field in place of Eaton. Many were starting to consider Taylor a bust because he had not been able to consistently take advantage of his opportunities. But this season has been different. Taylor was hitting .278 with 12 home runs and 35 RBIs before heading to the DL. He also pitched in 10 stolen bases and 40 runs scored.