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Washington Nationals bring Pedro Severino and Austen Williams up in first round of September call-ups...

Pedro Severino and Austen Williams are the first players called up to join the Nationals now that rosters have expanded.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Pedro Severino was 31 for 181 (.171/.256/.254) with nine doubles and two home runs in 63 games and 203 plate appearances with the Washington Nationals earlier this season, but the 25-year-old catcher was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse when Matt Wieters returned to the lineup after suffering a hamstring injury which required surgery.

“He led our pitching staff,” manager Davey Martinez told reporters after the move was made to send Severino down in early July, as quoted in the Washington Post.

“Sevy did a great job. He really did. For being a young catcher and stepping in he did a wonderful job. But having a veteran guy back like Wieters to handle the staff is pretty good.”

Martinez said they wanted Severino to work on situational hitting and play regularly, which he wouldn’t have with Wieters back behind the plate in the nation’s capital.

In 33 games and 136 plate appearances with the Nats’ top minor league affiliate, Severino put up a .269/.294/.462 line, five doubles, and six home runs on the season before he was called up to the majors again this afternoon along with right-handed reliever Austen Williams.

Williams posted a 1.39 ERA, a 1.41 FIP, 11 walks (2.15 BB/9), and 69 Ks (12.02 K/9) in 24 games and 51 23 IP at Double-A Harrisburg and a 0.55 ERA and 1.62 FIP, four walks (2.20 BB/9) and 20 Ks (11.02 K/9) in 16 13 IP at Triple-A Syracuse in his first season working out of the bullpen after the 2014 Nats’ 6th Round pick worked his way up through the system as a starter.

Williams, the Nationals noted in their press release on the call-ups, “held opposing batters to a .166 average and did not allow a home run in 2018.”

Martinez told reporters after last night’s game that the Nats would likely wait until the minor league season was over before calling anyone up, but the first round of moves happened in advance of the second of three with the Milwaukee Brewers in D.C.