It took just one swing in the 2016 season for the Nationals to lose a major contributor from their starting lineup, as center fielder Ben Revere has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain.
Outfielder Matt den Dekker has been recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to take Revere's place on the 25-man roster. Revere's DL stint is retroactive to April 5.
Revere felt pain in his right side after his first swing while leading off against the Braves on Opening Day. He took Tuesday off to rest, but will now need much longer than that.
Michael Taylor replaced Revere in Monday's game and was in his place in the Nats' starting lineup on Wednesday against the Braves. He will now step in as the starting center fielder while Revere rehabs the injury.
Revere going down is a tough blow to a Nationals team that had managed to avoid a significant injury all throughout spring training. That was a nice change from the year before when Jayson Werth, Denard Span and Anthony Rendon were all missing from their Opening Day lineup. Stephen Strasburg was also dealing with just the beginning of a long saga of injury problems when they began the 2015 season.
Losing Revere in the first game brings back memories of Opening Day 2014 when they also began the season healthy, only to lose Wilson Ramos in their first game.
The Nationals have a solid backup plan for Revere in Taylor, who was the team's best hitter this spring. Manager Dusty Baker can now play Taylor more, though losing Revere will not afford him as great of an opportunity to give Jayson Werth a break here and there.
With den Dekker now on their bench, Chris Heisey will become the fourth outfielder as Revere works his way back.