Wire Taps: Adam Eaton returns to Nationals’ lineup; Jeremy Hellickson arrives in West Palm Beach…

Adam Eaton returned to the Nationals’ lineup (and hit a home run) and Jeremy Hellickson flew to West Palm Beach, FL a day after his minor league deal with Washington was made official. It was a big day in the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Catch up on all the latest Nats news before this afternoon’s Grapefruit League game…

NATS BEAT:

An emotional blur of a day for Adam Eaton
“Suffice it to say, there was a lot for Adam Eaton to process at the end of his first big league game since he tore the ACL in his left knee nearly 11 months ago.”

Adam Eaton makes emotional return to Washington Nationals’ outfield
“The last time he played on a major league field with his teammates was April 28. The last time he played on a major league field, he didn’t walk off it.”

Nationals’ Adam Eaton homers in 2018 debut
“After Nationals manager Dave Martinez wrote Adam Eaton’s name in the lineup for the first time this spring, he gave Eaton a hug.”

Jeremy Hellickson waited for a phone call all winter. Now he’s in Nationals camp
“Like so many other free agents, Jeremy Hellickson sat in quiet agony this winter, waiting for a phone call that never came.”

Nats sign Jeremy Hellickson to Minors contract
“The days until Opening Day are quickly dwindling, so new Nationals right-hander Jeremy Hellickson wasted no time getting started at camp.”

Hellickson reports to camp, joins “perfect situation” with Nats
“They were actually the first team that called,” Hellickson said. “When Scott told me the Nationals, I thought: ‘That’s a perfect situation.’”

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

UVA grad and Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle: ‘This is a team that can win the World Series’
“It’s kind of scary to get traded. I’d been with Oakland my entire career and been with the organization for 10 years. It was all I knew.”

How does new #Nationals manager Dave Martinez handle the expectations for the reigning NL East champs in 2018?Martinez, with @StevePhillipsGM and @PerezEd at #Nationals camp, part of MLB Network Radio’s Tour of Spring Training: pic.twitter.com/eU5iDlHTnH

— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) March 17, 2018
NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves’ Ronald Acuna hits fourth spring homer
“Braves top prospect Ronald Acuna Jr., has been the Grapefruit League’s biggest star thus far.”

Yoenis Cespedes talks about his health
“Yoenis Cespedes addresses his health on Saturday, March 17, 2018.”

Jake Arrieta delights crowd, breaks bats
“Five days after signing a three-year, $75 million contract with the Phillies, Jake Arrieta climbed atop a mound and threw a 31-pitch (two-inning) simulated game.”

Miami Marlins’ shortstop nearing return from shoulder surgery
“Marlins’ shortstop JT Riddle’s chances of being available by Opening Day are starting to look a little more realistic.”

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