Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson was asked a few weeks back if he knew which players the Nats would call up when rosters expanded on September 1st. "We've kind of briefly gone over it," Johnson told reporters. "The [main] thing, add a couple relievers. Add another catcher. Other than that, again, with a set lineup, you're not making a whole lot of changes. How many guys can you pinch hit? Callups... unless you're rebuilding or trying to do some things, get a good look at guys, but I think we've got a pretty good idea about the talent level we've got and what they're capable of doing."
The one bit of news to come about before today, in a report by the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, was that the Nationals wouldn't be bringing 26-year-old infielder Danny Espinosa back up after he struggled early this season and continued to have issues at the plate throughout his time with the Nats' Triple-A affiliate.
In 74 games and 309 plate appearances, the '08 3rd Round pick put up a .215/.280/.287 line. Espinosa told the WaPost's Mr. Kilgore that while he understood that he didn't turn things around at the plate, he thought he could contribute at the big league level:
"'I understood I didn’t hit well this year. I took responsibility for the reason why I was in AAA. At the end of the day, it’s not about me. I think defensively, I could be a huge help to the team to win a wild card.'"
The Nationals decided against bringing their Opening Day second baseman back, however. Espinosa's name was not on the list of September call-ups when the team made the announcements today:
Davis, 26 and Krol, 22, were already up with the Nationals this season. Davis, acquired from San Diego in the March 2011 trade that sent infielder Alberto Gonzalez to the Padres, had a 6.23 ERA, a 0.49 FIP, one walk and seven Ks in 4 1/3 IP with the Nationals in his earlier stint in the majors this season. In 45 games and 52 1/3 IP with the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate this season, Davis had a 3.10 ERA, a 3.28 FIP, 20 walks (3.44 BB/9) and 54 Ks (9.29 K/9).
Krol, acquired as the PTBNL in this winter's deal with the Oakland A's and Seattle Mariners that sent Michael Morse to the M's, had a 0.69 ERA and a 2.51 FIP with seven walks (2.42 BB/9) and 29 Ks (10.04 K/9) in 21 games and 26 IP with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators before making his MLB debut in June. In 27 games and 25 IP with the Nationals, the left-hander had a 3.24 ERA, a 4.35 FIP, seven walks (2.52 BB/9) and 20 Ks (7.20 K/9) before he was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse earlier this month.
Sandy Leon, 24, had a .267/.389/.333 line with the Nationals last season. In 95 games and 361 PAs with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators this season, the switch-hitting catcher had a .177/.291/.252 line with 12 doubles and three home runs.
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