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Juan Soto spring training debut delayed after fouling ball off his right foot

Nationals star outfielder Juan Soto hit a ball off his foot and will delay his 2021 spring training debut.

Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals prepares for a pitch during a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on September 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals are taking a conservative approach with star outfielder Juan Soto in spring training. Soto fouled a ball off his right foot on Sunday during live batting practice, according to Federal Baseball. The left fielder was going to make his Grapefruit League debut on Monday, but the team is pushing it back. Manager Davey Martinez said the team is going to give him “a day or two and see how he feels.”

The Nationals opened spring training on Sunday with a 4-4 tie against the St. Louis Cardinals. Soto did not play in the game, instead doing side work to prepare for his spring debut. Kyle Schwarber started in left field in place of Soto in the Nationals’ spring opener.

Soto is coming off a monster of a 2020 season. Over 47 games in the shortened season, Soto put together a slash line of .351/.490/.695. Over three seasons, his career slash line sits at .295/.415/.557. He’s due for a huge contract extension sooner than later and if he can put together another strong campaign in 2021, his value will only increase.