With Class AAA Syracuse’s season ending on Monday, the Nationals are expected to call up four position players and one pitcher on Tuesday, according to Manager Davey Johnson. The one arm will be left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno, who posted a 1.31 ERA over 34 1/3 innings for Syracuse. The four position players are expected to be outfielders Eury Perez and Corey Brown, utilityman Jeff Kobernus and infielder Zach Walters.
Perez, Cedeno, Brown and Kobernus have all already made their major leagues debuts; only Cedeno did so with another organization. Perez and Kobernus have already served stints with the Nationals this season. Kobernus, who leads Syracuse with a .318 average, could be used as a backup infielder or outfielder. Perez, who hit .300 and stole 23 bases, could serve as a pinch hitter. Brown, who posted a .473 slugging percentage and hit 19 homers, adds outfield depth and a left-handed bat.
The Nationals have two open spots on the their 40-man roster and would have to add Walters in order to call him up. The Nationals could likely have done so this winter in order to protect Walters from the Rule 5 draft. Walters, who mostly has played shortstop this season but can also play third base, hit 29 home runs at Syracuse this season and was named an International League all-star at shortstop.
The Nationals called up their first wave of September call-ups on Sunday, promoting relievers Erik Davis and Ian Krol, and catcher Sandy Leon.
>>> Bryce Harper and Johnson both said following Sunday’s game that the outfielder’s left knee isn’t bothering him even though Harper appeared to limp while on the base paths. Harper suggested that other parts of his body were bugging him but wouldn’t elaborate on Sunday. Johnson said on Monday that Harper has been spotted in the training room but doesn’t believe the outfielder is receiving treatment for his back, discomfort that bothered him last season.
>>> Rookie right-handed starter Taylor Jordan left the Nationals following Sunday’s game and will head to Viera, Fla., near his home town, and begin a throwing program. Because of a team-mandated innings limit, Jordan was shut down on Aug. 16 after throwing 142 innings between the majors and minors in his first full season back from 2011 Tommy John surgery.
Jordan had been with the Nationals for the past two weeks and traveled with the team. With little to do other than play catch, learn from his teammates on the bench and receive treatment for his lower back strain, Jordan was often the player crouched behind the plate at Nationals Park catching the ceremonial first pitch before games.
“We’re gonna miss him not catching the first pitches at home plate,” said Johnson, jokingly.
>>> Left-handed starter Ross Detwiler, who has been out since July 4 with a herniated disk in his lower back, is expected to throw off the mound for the first time since landing on the disabled list, Johnson said.