UPDATE (4:07 PM EDT SUNDAY): CSNWashington.com's Mark Zuckerman reported last night he was told by a source that the Washington Nationals were expected to call 23-year-old prospect Michael Taylor up from Triple-A Syracuse in time to join the big league club in Atlanta in time for the series finale with the Braves tonight in Turner Field in a game that is being broadcast nationally on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.
Zuckerman wrote that "a source familiar with the decision" told him that, "Taylor was a late scratch from Class AAA Syracuse’s lineup Saturday evening and was due to depart for Atlanta."
The question was what corresponding move would be made to make room on the roster.
Jayson Werth was a late scratch Saturday after sitting out of Friday's series opener in Atlanta with lingering shoulder and ankle issues. Steven Souza, Jr., was called back up to the majors earlier this week when outfielder Nate McLouth was placed on the DL with a right shoulder issue.
Souza ran into the right field fence in Turner Field chasing a home run Friday night, but reports before Saturday night's game said he was available off of the bench and he did end up pinch running late in the extra-inning affair after Werth drew a walk.
Souza was placed on the 15-Day DL this afternoon with what was described as a left shoulder contusion:
Taylor was promoted to the Nationals' top minor league affiliate earlier this week, but played just four games before the Nats decided to bring him up to the majors this afternoon. In those four games with the International League's Syracuse Chiefs, the '09 Nationals' 6th Round pick out of Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale, FL was 5 for 13 with three doubles, a triple, four walks and two Ks.
In 98 games and 441 plate appearances with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators before the promotion, Taylor posted a .313/.396/.539 line with 17 doubles, 22 HRs and 34 stolen bases in his first year at Double-A.
Taylor, along with top pitching prospect Lucas Giolito, represented the Nationals at the All-Star Futures Game last month in Minnesota's Target Field.
The Nationals added Taylor to the 40-Man roster this winter, allowing the Nationals' first-year manager Matt Williams to get a long look at the outfield prospect in Spring Training.
"He is, I think, really unique in that he is a -- if you were putting scouting numbers on him -- he is an 80 defender," Williams said this spring. "He throws very well. He's in the process of learning himself and his own swing and he would be a guy that is potentially on the fast track.
"Now, of course, there are a lot of variables there and a lot of things that could sideline that track sometimes, slumps and things like that, but all the tools are there, those tools are certainly present for all us to see at this point."
In an interview with MLB Network Radio host Grant Paulsen this morning, Nationals' Assistant GM and VP of Player Development Doug Harris talked about Taylor's ability to make in-game adjustments leading to his somewhat meteoric rise in his breakout campaign.
"He's put together a really good year," Harris said. "In the past it would take Michael a few days to make adjustments. Early in the year you started seeing some day-to-day things and now he's at the point where he's making adjustments at-bat-to-at-bat or even pitch-to-pitch and that is what has allowed him to have the success he's had this year."
Will Taylor make his MLB debut in front of a national television audience? We'll find out tonight. Game time: 8:05 PM EDT on Sunday night baseball.