September Call Ups Must Contribute to Washington Nationals’ Playoff Run
The September call ups for the Washington Nationals are expected to feature some familiar faces as well as a few new ones. Manager Davey Johnson was clear that he was going to beef up his bullpen and bring up some bench guys.
The Nationals still feel at seven games back that they can catch the Cincinnati Reds and get the final National League Wild Card spot. So unless a player can help the team, don’t expect to see them in the dugout come September.
Johnson was quick to say that he wanted right-handed reliever Ian Krol back. He was sent down to make room for Ross Ohlendorf. Krol was clearly very effective when he was promoted to the big club. Johnson likes his future with the team and wants to reward him by making sure he is part of the team down the stretch run.
A couple of very talented young outfielders who have seen some action this season in Washington are likely to be called up. Corey Brown and Eury Perez will both get a look as possible replacements for Roger Bernadina. Both men are gifted fielders with outstanding speed, but they need to get some much needed Major League at bats.
Another outfielder who could be on the list is the versatile Jeff Kobernus. He is someone that the team likes a great deal as someone who might compete with Denard Span for the center field and leadoff spot. He hit .324 at AAA Syracuse this season with 28 stolen bases.
Zach Walters is the Nationals’ hottest in fielding prospect and someone that Johnson likes very much. However, at the moment there is a logjam of talent that Johnson wants to see already in Washington.
Tyler More, Anthony Rendon and Steve Lombardozzi will get plenty of playing time down the stretch. All three have been key members of the team all year, and now Johnson wants to give them as much time in September to play as possible which is bad news for Walters as well as Danny Espinosa. The one time darling of the Nationals, Espinosa, is not expected to be asked to join the club in September.
Catcher Sandy Leon will likely get the call because most teams like to have a third backstop for September. Johnson likes his defense and at the moment Leon is hitting an awful .185, but Nationals won’t need his bat in September.
As we said the top of the column, if the players can’t help the Nationals catch the Reds then do not look to see them come September.