September 8, 2009
According to MLB.com, the Washington Nationals have decided to promote pitchers Ross Detwiler, Marco Estrada, Logan Kensing, and Zack Segovia, and shortstop Ian Desmond.
All five players will report to Washington with the completion of Triple-A Syracuse's schedule.
The Nationals also will bring up Syracuse Manager Tim Foli to assist with all-purpose duties.
The promotion will give interim manager Jim Riggleman some flexibility in managing the pitching staff down the stretch, with several young pitchers approaching their maximum innings allotment for the season and three (Jordan Zimmermann, Craig Stammen, and Collin Balester) shut down with injuries.
Detwiler started 10 games earlier in the season, going 0-5 with a 6.40 ERA. Kensing has had two stints in D.C. this season, surrendering 31 runs in 26 and two-thirds innings pitched. He was the closer for Syracuse, with a 2.97 ERA.
Estrada made his major league debut last season, appearing in 11 games as a reliever. He started the entire season for Syracuse.
Segovia, who has previous major league experience with Philadelphia, went 2-5 with a 3.28 ERA in stints at Double-A and Triple-A this year.
Desmond hit .328 with seven home runs and 32 RBIs for Harrisburg and Syracuse.
Of the pitchers, only Detwiler figures to be in the Nationals long-term plans. The talented left-hander struggled in his earlier cameo, figthing off extra base hits and an inconsistant release point, which left his offerings up in the zone.
For him to achieve lasting big league success, he must keep the ball down and allow its natural sinking action to take over, something that he hasn't been able to accomplish in his brief previous call-up.
Desmond, who turns 24 on Sept. 20, is a tall, lanky shortstop, who drew comparisions very early in his career to Derek Jeter by then-G.M. Jim Bowden. He was drafted in the third round by the Expos in 2004, and was rushed very quickly through the system—to his detriment.
Always a steady defensive performer, this season his bat has begun to blossom. He hit .330/.401/.477 with seven homers, 32 RBIs and 21 steals between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse.
If given an extended tryout at short in the remaining 25 games, he could give the Nationals an option in the middle infield to explore a trade for Cristian Guzman, or, perhaps move the veteran to second base, a position that looks to be gaping after several players failed to grasp the slot this season.
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