Outfielder Corey Brown joined the Nationals today from Class AAA Syracuse as they officially placed shortstop Ian Desmond on the disabled list with a sore left oblique. Brown was hitting .302 with a .944 OPS and 21 homers at Syracuse. Manager Davey Johnson said he’ll serve as a bench player, but the move will change his lineup in one way.
With Danny Espinosa shifted to shortstop in Desmond’s place and Steve Lombardozzi now the regular second baseman, the Nationals will continue to use a platoon system for their third outfielder before Jayson Werth returns. Roger Bernadina will not play center field against right-handed starts, and Tyler Moore will play left against lefties.
“It’s basically going to be a platoon situation, kind of like I was with Lombo,” Johnson said. “This is a more natural platoon. You don’t really see a platoon with a switch-hitter. I like the lineup with Desmond hitting sixth. I can’t have afford to not have a run-producer with Desmond out.”
Brown, 26, is joining the Nationals for his third stint. He appeared in three games as a call-up last September before he suffered an infection in his knee. Earlier this year, Brown replaced Chad Tracy for three games and recorded his first career RBI on a suicide squeeze bunt.