The Nationals placed shortstop Ian Desmond on paternity leave today so he could be with his wife, Chelsey, for the birth of the couple’s first child. Desmond, 25, may miss one to three days.
Grayson Wesley Desmond was born at 3:56 p.m. in Sarasota, Fla., weighing 6 pounds 11 ounces.
Washington recalled outfielder Roger Bernadina from Class AAA Syracuse to fill Desmond’s roster spot.
Major League Baseball instituted new paternity leave rules during the offseason, allowing teams a call-up for one to three days when a player becomes a father. Desmond plans to stay with his wife for one or two days, but he’ll stay longer if necessary.
The Nationals could play Alex Cora, Jerry Hairston or Danny Espinosa at shortstop during Desmond’s brief absence.
Desmond has four doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in 20 games. He is tied for third in the NL in steals with eight and is batting .205. He’s also tied with Starlin Castro for most errors in the NL with 7.