The Washington Nationals will continue their playoff push in September with a little bit of help from their supporting cast. The rosters expanded on September 1 and the Nationals have added eight players to their roster, according to federalbaseball.com.
Among these call-ups are highly ranked prospects and players who are getting another taste of the big leagues. While a few players might be called up to provide depth, others are being called up to see what they have.
Some of these guys will be starting their auditions for next year's squad this September, so let's take a look at this season's September call-ups.
Eury Perez was the seventh-ranked prospect in the Nationals' system entering 2013.
He had a solid season for Triple-A Syracuse, hitting .300 with 18 doubles, seven home runs and five triples. He collected 23 steals as well.
The slugging numbers were great to see from Perez this season and should translate into some production this September for the Nats.
Perez will be a starter in the MLB in the next couple of seasons, so this will be a great time to check out the future of the Nationals.
Jeff Kobernus will be a star for D.C. soon enough. His call-up might get more people to realize that.
In his past three seasons in the minors, Kobernus stole 53, 42 and 42 bases while hitting .282 in 2011 and 2012—and a career-high .318 this season.
Kobernus did not fare well in his first opportunity with the Nationals in June, only hitting .174. Despite the low average, he still was able to get on base with an OBP of .333.
Kobernus is going to help this team, even if it takes him a little while to get his swing down. The stolen bases will give the Nationals an incentive to find him playing time and see what he can do to big league pitching.
There will always be a place in the MLB for a lefty who can get guys out, and Xavier Cedeno has shown that he can.
Cedeno pitched in 39 games for Syracuse this season, striking out 45 batters in 34.1 innings while hitters only managed a .189 average against.
Cedeno was pitching for the Nationals in April but struggled, allowing 11 runs (eight earned) in 5 appearances. Cedeno's second stint in April was shorter but sweeter, making only two appearances with no runs and one walk.
He has shown throughout the minor league season that his April performances might have simply been a case of a pitcher who was overwhelmed by the moment.
His performances should only get better this month, and he has a chance to make a name for himself—even if he is only a lefty specialist out of the 'pen.
Over 456 minor league games, Zach Walters hit .277 with 107 doubles, 54 home runs and 21 triples.
Walters has shown that he has excellent potential in the minors and will have his chance to impress at the big league level now.
Walters will likely be a part of the Nationals' infield in the near future if he continues to produce at this level.
Erik Davis spent 2013 in Triple-A and finished with a 3.10 ERA while compiling 15 saves.
Davis struck out 54 batters in 52.1 innings while walking 20. Davis spent five games with the Nationals in June before being called up and pitching on September 1. The Stanford graduate has to impress this September in his second time being called up.
This is the third straight year that Corey Brown is getting a bit of big league action. He saw most of his playing time in 2012, when he appeared in 19 games and hit .200.
Brown made the most of his first taste of MLB action in 2013, hitting a home run against the Phillies in his debut on September 3.
Brown does have the potential to hit home runs, as he smacked 19 and also hit 26 doubles in Triple-A this season. He can provide some pop, as we saw in his first game, when someone needs a day off.
Ian Krol has dominated the minor leagues this season and has had his taste of the big leagues. He is only 22 years old but possesses a 3.51 ERA for the Nats this season with 20 strikeouts in 25.2 innings.
Krol cruised in the minors this season, posting a 1.21 ERA and racking up 36 strikeouts in 29.2 innings while keeping opposing hitters to a lowly .157 average.
Although Krol did not have a great performance on September 1, he is a player that is worth watching and someone that will have a huge impact on this team going forward.
Sandy Leon was brought up for depth behind the plate for the Nationals in September. Leon has never been much of a hitter before posting a .322 average combined average in his three minor league stops last season.
Until last season, his highest average since 2007 was .251.
I do not expect Leon to be anything more than a backup catcher for the Nationals in the years to come, but an unexpectedly good performance in September might help his stock going forward.