The Nationals optioned reliever Collin Balester back to Class AAA Syracuse in order to make room Todd Coffey, who is set to come off the 15-day disabled list tomorrow. Balester spent a week back in the majors, appearing in three games and allowing three earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Balester, 24, understood it could be a short stay when he came to Washington last Sunday, and he said then he would let circumstances beyond his control affect him, which admitted had happened in past seasons.