Eaton sent to disabled list; Jones to have surgery
Center fielder on 15-day DL with hamstring strain; reliever set for back procedure
CLEVELAND -- Adam Eaton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring prior to Saturday's contest with the Indians, which was not an unexpected move after he left Friday's game in the bottom of the fourth.
The slightly more surprising news was not that Nate Jones was moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for southpaw pitcher Frank De Los Santos on the 40-man roster as Eaton's replacement on the active roster, but that Jones will undergo a microdiscectomy outpatient surgical procedure on Monday at Rush University Medical Center.
Manager Robin Ventura shared the latter piece of news during his pregame meeting with the media on Saturday.
Ventura added that right-handed reliever Jones, 28, who has faced five batters this year and allowed three walks and two hits, is still expected to pitch this season. The procedure removes lower back herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord.
"They're talking about him being ready maybe in a month to be able to start throwing again and doing things. It wouldn't be the rest of the year," said Ventura of Jones. "He went through periods where he'd start feeling better, and we'd wait it out and see what it is.
"Once it starts going the other way when he throws, all of a sudden you're checking it again. So until they go in there and see it, they don't know exactly what it is. They feel confident, though, that they got it."
Jones was bothered by left glute pain that slowed him at the start of Spring Training, but that was eventually tied to his lower back. He had an epidural, but that didn't seem to help, eventually leading to the surgical procedure.
"It never seemed to go away," Ventura said. "You dig a little deeper in there, and it was concluded he needed to have surgery to be able to fix it. Fortunately, it's not a season-ending thing."
As for Eaton, the combination of the hamstring strain that has bothered him for the past week and the left knee strain that cost him five games from April 20-24 added up to a disabled-list stint to get him completely healthy.
"My legs basically are what make me successful, so I have to take care of them," said Eaton on Saturday, featuring wraps on both legs as he spoke. "So take 15 days, and we'll be excited. ... The 18th is the day we'll be back."
"That's more of making sure he gets completely healthy," said Ventura of Eaton. "Seeing him run and do stuff, I don't want him to do something that would really set him back, and you don't want him playing at 75 percent, because any time he would take off, he would start to feel it, so [this is] just to get him healthy."
Eaton's left leg injury originated when he was rounding first base on a game-opening single in Texas on April 18. Ironically, the left knee felt pretty solid Friday when Eaton aggravated the right hamstring trying to beat out a double-play grounder that ended the top of the fourth.
Jordan Danks replaced Eaton on Friday and figures to do the same on a starting basis in Eaton's absence. Ventura doesn't want Eaton to change his hard-nosed, hard-charging style when he gets back, but this move almost protects him a little bit from himself.
"When this went, the knee was fine, but the wear and tear from trying to get it right for a week or two, left side was working overtime, finally caught up with it," Eaton said. "When that flared up bad, it put more pressure on my lower half.
"I use my legs a lot. I'm not a home run hitter. I wish I could mask it a little better. It's not fun at all. It [stinks]. I've never been hurt in the Minor Leagues and college, and all of a sudden, I get hurt here every other day. It's going to be tough sitting around watching everyone else have fun."