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Juan Soto’s MRI comes back clean, should return to Washington Nationals lineup soon

Andrew Buller-Russ

Late in Sunday afternoon’s extra-innings contest between the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins, Juan Soto gave everyone a slight scare, when he had to leave the game due to an apparent injury. Initially, it appeared as though Soto had some issues originating in his left hamstring, as he was tagged in a rundown between third base and home plate.

Soto could be seen walking away from the action a bit differently than his normal gait, which drew even more concern. He left the game in the fourth inning and was set to have an MRI on his leg after the game.

Luckily fans can breathe a huge sigh of relief today, as it was announced that Soto’s MRI came back clean, and he’s just been diagnosed with left calf tightness. He was unavailable for today’s contest against the Marlins, but the superstar slugger told reporters “everything is fine“. Soto plans to take things day-by-day, meaning his timetable to return is unknown, but he’s unlikely to be out of action long.

Juan Soto’s the strongest link on a weak Nationals team

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a slow downhill descent since the Nationals won the World Series in Juan Soto’s second season as a pro, in 2019.

  • 2019 – Won World series with a win percentage of .574
  • 2020 – Finished in last place of the NL East with a win percentage of .433
  • 2021 – Finished in last place of the NL East with a win percentage of .401
  • 2022 – Currently in last place of the NL East with a win percentage of .358

Obviously that’s not how you want to follow your franchise’s first World Series win, but they’ve experienced several changes since, such as Anthony Rendon dashing for the Los Angeles Angels. Of course, the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner trades didn’t help matters either, but here we are.

On the bright side, the one constant the Nationals do have is Juan Soto, and while they still need to come to terms on a new contract extension, at 23 years old, we’ve likely yet to see the best of what he has to offer.

A career .290 hitter, Soto’s batting average may be down this season at .226, but his power production is just the same. Soto’s already managed to sock 15 home runs in just 343 plate appearances. He also leads all of MLB with 67 walks drawn. Clearly, pitchers are still afraid to matchup with Soto, and his eye at the plate will only continue to improve. Even if it won’t be enough to save the Nationals this season.

Related: MLB trade rumors: Latest MLB rumors entering July