Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes wrote on Twitter early this morning that though nothing was official, she was hearing that the Washington Nationals would call outfield prospect Andrew Stevenson up from Triple-A Syracuse after Chris Heisey injured his groin last night in the Nats’ 4-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Chase Field.
The Nationals were already going to be without outfielder Ryan Raburn (bereavement leave) with the WaPost writer citing a source who said catcher Pedro Severino would come up to take Raburn’s spot on the roster.
In 45 games and 172 plate appearances this season, Severino, 24, has struggled with injuries, putting up a .211/.256/.298 line at Triple-A Syracuse.
Dusty Baker was reportedly delayed in getting to last night’s post game presser as the Nationals discussed the injury to Heisey and its implications after the veteran tweaked something running out a triple late in the game.
"There’s always something every day," Baker said when he did meet with reporters.
"But during the course of the game Heisey hurt his groin, that’s why I double-switched and took him out on the triple, so we’re analyzing him now, and we’re getting mighty thin on outfielders.
“I’ll be glad when we get Michael Taylor back and Jayson Werth, big time. And Trea [Turner], I mean we’ve got three of our top warriors out.”
Baker acknowledged last night that they might have to make a move when asked if there were concerns about the roster in light of Heisey’s injury.
"Yeah, especially with Raburn having to leave, so that is a concern," Baker said, "... that’s what we were discussing today, and we might have to make a move. We’ll let you know tomorrow.”
Stevenson, 23, is a 2015 2nd Round pick out of LSU, who, before last night, had put up a combined .269/.326/.339 line, with 12 doubles, five triples, and a home run in 92 games and 392 plate appearances between Double-A Harrisburg (.350/.429/.438, five doubles, one triple, 92 PAs) and Triple-A Syracuse (.246/.294/.311, 7 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 301 PAs) this season.
Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo talked after the 2015 Draft about loving Stevenson’s style of play and defense.
"This guy plays 100 mph with his hair on fire," Rizzo told told reporters after selecting Stevenson 58th overall with Washington’s top pick in 2015.
"That was a big part of why we were so attracted to him. We've got him up to 70-80 on a 20 to 80 scale as far as speed goes. [He's] got the ability to steal bases. He's a terrific defensive center fielder. We think he's got the ability to be a leadoff type of guy in the future and a guy again that adds to our athleticism and speed part of the game."
In an interview with FBB’s Will Kubzansky this week, Stevenson said he was prepared for the call whenever it came.
"You always want to try to make that jump to the next level,” Stevenson said. “I’m just doing what I can do, what I think I need to be ready for that next jump.”
In addition to the announcement on selecting Stevenson’s contract and bringing up Severino, the Nationals annouced that Raburn was officially placed on the bereavement list, Heisey was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left groin strain, and Jayson Werth (left foot contusion) was transferred to the 60-day DL.