ATLANTA -- The Nationals placed Ben Revere on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Tuesday, because of a right oblique strain and recalled outfielder Matt den Dekker from Triple-A Syracuse.
Revere injured the oblique during his first at-bat in Monday's season opener against the Braves. After he struck out, Revere decided to stay in the game, but he had a hard time breathing during his next at-bat two innings later because of pain in his rib cage. After he grounded out, Revere decided to take himself out of the game.
Revere said he felt pain even while trying to make a play on a home run by Freddie Freeman in the first inning.
At first, the Nationals didn't think the injury was serious but, according to manager Dusty Baker, Revere was more sore on Wednesday even though he came in for treatment at Turner Field on Tuesday. Revere is expected to get an MRI on Thursday in Washington.
"We didn't think we could go short for a long period of time," Baker said. "Instead of letting it linger, we'll take care of it right now early."
With Revere out, it means Michael Taylor will be leading off and starting in center field. Taylor had a great Spring Training, hitting .453 with five home runs and 16 RBIs. Baker called Taylor into his office Wednesday and said, "See how many times you can get on base to start off a game today."
"His job now is to get on base," Baker said. "He can bunt, he can hit. Michael has the ability to lead us off, give us a 1-0 lead," Baker said. "I told him to play your game. I'm going to stick with it until it's not working."
den Dekker is a player Baker grew to like and did not want to cut from the roster. den Dekker, who will come off the bench, hit .300 with four RBIs and nine runs scored in 21 Grapefruit League games before being optioned to Syracuse following Spring Training.
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Revere's second career disabled-list stint could not have come at a worse time for fantasy owners who entrusted the speedster to carry their clubs in the stolen-bases category. But given the 27-year-old could still compile 30 swipes while hitting .300 across roughly five months of action, he should be retained on the bench or disabled list in virtually all leagues. Revere owners may wish to fill the open lineup spot with Taylor, who is expected to serve as the Nationals' regular center fielder during the coming weeks. The career .226 hitter will likely have a negative impact in the batting-average department, but he possesses an intriguing blend of power and speed -- as shown when he accumulated 14 homers and 16 steals in 2015.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.