Nationals reinstate CF Denard Span

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated center fielder Denard Span from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, and optioned right-handed pitcher Tanner Roark to Single-A Potomac.

Span, 31, returns to the Nationals after missing 40 games due to back tightness. The Nationals’ leadoff man is coming off six rehab games – spanning stops with Single-A Hagerstown, Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg – in which he hit .412 with a .500 on-base percentage and a .588 slugging percentage. Span went 7-for-17 with one home run, three walks and six runs scored.

In 59 games with the Nationals this season, Span is hitting .304 (72-for-237) with a .367 on-base percentage and a .430 slugging percentage. In 265 plate appearances, Span has clubbed 15 doubles and five home runs, walked 24 times and stolen 11 bases.

One of the most dynamic center fielders in the game, Span is coming off arguably his finest Major League season. Hitting .302 with a Nationals (2005-present) single-season record 184 hits in 2014, Span collected a career-high 52 extra-base hits last season, to go along with a career-best 31 stolen bases. He became just the sixth qualified player in Nationals history to hit .300 or better, joining Cristian Guzman, Michael Morse, Jayson Werth, Dmitri Young and Ryan Zimmerman.

Roark, 28, is 4-4 with four holds and one save, along with a 4.54 ERA in 34 games (six games started) this season. The versatile right-hander is career 26-15 with a 3.04 ERA since his MLB debut, Aug. 7, 2013. In that span, Roark has started 42 games for the Nationals, including 31 (15-10, 2.85 ERA) during his breakout 2014 season. While with Potomac Roark will transition to the starting rotation.

Nationals select contract of SS Trea Turner

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals selected the contract of shortstop Trea Turner from Triple-A Syracuse on Friday and placed first baseman/outfielder Tyler Moore on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 19, with a left ankle sprain. Additionally, right-handed pitcher Aaron Barrett (right elbow sprain) was transferred to the 60-day DL.

Turner joins the Nationals for the first Major League assignment of his career. Ranked the No. 9 (Baseball America) and No. 12 (MLB.com) best prospect in all of baseball, Turner arrives in the Major Leagues having hit .322 with a .370 on-base percentage and a .458 slugging percentage in 116 minor league games this season.

Acquired from the San Diego Padres on June 14 – completing the Dec. 18, 2014 three-team trade in which Washington acquired right-handed pitcher Joe Ross and a Player to be Named from the Padres, and sent outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Minor League left-handed pitcher Travis Ott to the Tampa Bay Rays – Turner has played at two different levels for three different teams this year.

The speedy infielder hit .322 (73-for-227) with 13 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 35 RBI, 24 walks, 11 stolen bases and 31 runs scored in 58 games for San Diego’s Double-A affiliate, the San Antonio Missions, to open his 2015 season. He posted a .385 on-base percentage, a .471 slugging percentage and an .856 OPS along the way.

After officially joining the Nationals’ organization, Turner hit .359/.366/.513 with four doubles, one triple, four RBI, one walk and four stolen bases in 10 games with Double-A Harrisburg. Turner, 22, was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse on June 26, and has hit .314/.353/.431 with seven doubles, three triples, three home runs, 13 walks, 14 stolen bases and 15 RBI in his first experience (48 games) at the highest level of the minor leagues.

Turner joined right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito in representing the Nationals at the Sirius/XM MLB All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati in July. He went 2-for-2 with a double, triple, and two RBI in the annual prospect showcase.

A first-round selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft (No. 13 overall), Turner entered the 2015 season rated as the No. 2 prospect in the Padres’ chain and the No. 65 prospect in all of baseball, per Baseball America, and his stock has risen considerably this season.

Turner boasts advanced speed and base running ability. According to Baseball America, Turner had the “Best Strike-Zone Discipline,” and was the “Best Athlete” and “Best Defensive Infielder” in the San Diego Minor League system prior to his trade to Washington.

Moore, 28, is hitting .200 for the Nationals this season with 10 doubles, four home runs and 22 RBI. Appearing predominantly off the Nationals’ bench (Moore has started 28 games, 1B: 17; OF: 11), the Mississippi native has four pinch hits and one pinch-hit home run in 2015.

Nationals present Nesting Doll ‘Golden Ticket’ giveaway

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“How do they do it?”

Do you ask a fish how it swims? Or a bird how it flies? No, you don’t. They do it because they were born to do it. Just like Willy Wonka was born to be a candy man…and you were born to be a Nats giveaway seeker.

On Thursday, September 3, the first 20,000 fans to enter Nationals Park will receive a Nationals-themed Nesting Doll, celebrating 10 years of Washington Nationals uniforms and the stars who wore them. Featuring Max Scherzer (2015), Bryce Harper (2014), Ryan Zimmerman (2012), Chad Cordero (2007) and Frank Robinson (2005), the special set will be sure to thrill fans young and old.

Nesting Doll 5 Piece w selectionHowever, for 100 lucky guests, the ballpark will be transformed into a land of pure imagination. Inside 100 regular Nesting Doll boxes randomly placed at all gates, fans can find a Golden Ticket — redeemable for a larger, more exclusive Nesting Doll set of 10 dolls.

You may have to outwit Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt and Violet Beauregarde to find your Golden Ticket, but the reward will be worth the effort. In the larger set of 10 dolls, fans will get Max Scherzer (2015), Bryce Harper (2014), Anthony Rendon (2013), Gio Gonzalez (2012), Jayson Werth (2011), Stephen Strasburg (2010), Cristian Guzman (2008), Chad Cordero (2007), Alfonso Soriano golden-ticket-HR-forpublic(2006) and Ryan Zimmerman (2005).

Upon finding your Golden Ticket, you will be whisked away (OK, you’ll actually walk) to the Taft Conference room behind Sections 201­–203 on the Club Level, where your Golden Ticket will grant you admission inside to redeem your special set. We won’t spoil the fun of what else will be in the Taft room — there’s no earthly way of knowing, which direction you are going — but just know you’re safe from the Hornswogglers, Snozzwangers and rotten, Vermicious Knids.

 

10 Piece Nesting DollThe Center Field Gate will open at 4:30 p.m., all other gates will open at 5:30 p.m., and Golden Tickets must be redeemed by the end of the seventh inning on the day of the game only. So gather your friends, acquaintances, and most importantly your Grandpa Joe, and get out to Nationals Park for the game against the Atlanta Braves and a chance to live out a childhood dream.

After all, to paraphrase a wise man, “Nationals baseball, my dear friends, is 93 percent perspiration, 6 percent electricity, 4 percent evaporation and 2 percent butterscotch ripple.”

For promotional and ticket information, please visit nationals.com/promotions.

Nationals acquire All-Star closer Jonathan Papelbon

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By Kyle Brostowitz  

The Washington Nationals acquired All-Star right-handed pitcher Jonathan Papelbon from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Minor League right-handed pitcher, Nick Pivetta. President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements. Papelbon, a six-time All-Star and one of the most prolific closers in Major League Baseball history, joins the Nationals after spending the last three-plus seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. He is 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA (7 ER/39.2 IP) and is 17-for-17 in save opportunities this season. He has tallied 40 strikeouts, issued eight walks and has allowed opposing batters to hit .211 against him. He is one of only three MLB closers to be perfect in save opportunities and ranks among National League relievers in ERA (7th, 1.59) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (T10th, 5.00),

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 05:  Closer Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the tenth inning during the game against the  Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on July 5, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

ATLANTA, GA – JULY 05: Closer Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the tenth inning during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on July 5, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

Since assuming the closer’s role for the Boston Red Sox in 2006, Papelbon has converted 342 saves, the most in Major League Baseball during the last 11 seasons. His 342 saves are good for 12th in MLB history and are third-most among active pitchers. He also ranks among MLB relievers in strikeouts (1st, 727), strikeout-to-walk ratio (5th, 4.85), walks and hits/innings pitched (6th, 1.00) and ERA (8th, 2.30) since 2006.

In 2014, he became just the fifth reliever in MLB history to convert at least 25 saves in nine consecutive seasons, joining Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, John Wetteland, and Troy Percival. On June 10 vs. San Diego, he became the 26th pitcher in MLB history to record 300 saves, tying Trevor Hoffman as the second fastest player to reach the 300 save mark.

Papelbon converted 39 saves in 2014, his most since converting a career-high 41 saves for the Boston Red Sox in 2008. He ranked among National League relievers in save percentage (T4th, 90.7%), saves (T5th, 39), walks and hits/innings pitched (8th, 0.90) and opponents OPS (9th, .500). With 66 games pitched, he appeared in 50 or more games for the ninth straight season and 60 or more for the seventh year in a row. On August 26, 2014 vs. Washington, he converted his 100th career save as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies and became the first player in MLB history to convert at least 200 saves in one league (AL, BOS – 219) and 100 saves in another league (NL, PHI – 123).

Papelbon, 34, is 37-30 with a 2.32 ERA over his 11 Major League seasons with Boston (2005-2011) and Philadelphia (2012-2015). He was selected in the fourth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft out of Mississippi State University. During his time with the Phillies, he supported youth living in Philadelphia-area foster programs through his participation in “Papelbon’s Pen” charitable ticket program. He and his wife, Ashley, have a daughter, Parker, and a son, Gunner.

Pivetta, 22, was selected in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of New Mexico Junior College. He was 7-6 with a 3.02 ERA in 18 games/17 starts between Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.

Nationals reinstate outfielder Jayson Werth and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman

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By Kyle Brostowitz

The Washington Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated outfielder Jayson Werth from the 60-day disabled list and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. To make room, the Nationals optioned outfielder Matt den Dekker to Triple-A Syracuse and outrighted infielder Emmanuel Burriss to Triple-A Syracuse.

WerthZim

Getty Images

Werth, 36, returns to the Nationals’ active roster after missing 61 games with a left wrist contusion. He appeared in 12 Minor League rehab games with Single-A Potomac (6) and Triple-A Syracuse (6), hitting .333 (12-for-36) with two doubles, one home run, eight RBI, five walks and three runs scored between the two stops.

Prior to suffering the injury on May 15 at San Diego, Werth had hit safely in 10 of his previous 14 games, going 14-for-53 (.264) with two home runs, eight RBI, seven walks, and 13 runs scored. He had appeared in 27 games prior to the injury. In five seasons with the nationals, Werth has hit .278 with 110 doubles, five triples, 68 home runs, 265 RBI, 46 stolen bases, 271 walks and 297 runs scored.

Zimmerman, 30, appeared in 56 games for the Nationals before being placed on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot on June 11. He missed 49 games due to the injury. Zimmerman appeared in five Minor League rehab games with Double-A Harrisburg, collecting one hit in 15 at bats.

Zimmerman is Washington’s all-time leader (2005-present) in runs scored (712), hits (1370), doubles (307), home runs (189), RBI (744) and games played (1254).

Nationals reinstate infielder Anthony Rendon and option pitcher Abel de Los Santos

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By Kyle Brostowitz

The Washington Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated infielder Anthony Rendon from the 15-day disabled list and optioned right-handed pitcher Abel de Los Santos to Double-A Harrisburg on Saturday.

Rendon, 24, returns to the Nationals’ active roster after missing 25 games with a left quad strain. He appeared in six Minor League rehab games with Single-A Potomac, hitting .471 (8-for-17) with two doubles, one RBI, three walks and two runs scored.

The Nationals’ first-round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Rendon is coming off a superb 2014 season in which he took home the National League Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award for third basemen and finished fifth in the National League Most Valuable Player Award voting.

Getty Images/Mitchell Layton

Getty Images/Mitchell Layton

Rendon, who is an exceptional defender at second and third base, hit .287 with 39 doubles, six triples, 21 home runs, 83 RBI, 58 walks and 111 runs scored in 153 games in 2014. The gifted infielder ranked fourth in the Major Leagues (second in the NL) in wins above replacement (6.6), according to FanGraphs.com, at the conclusion of the season.

de Los Santos, 22, appeared in two games for the Nationals allowing one earned run on two hits with three strikeouts and one walk in 1.2 innings of relief. He made his Major League debut on July 21 vs. New York.

Nationals recall RHP Joe Ross to start vs. Mets Tuesday night

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals recalled right-handed pitcher Joe Ross from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday and optioned infielder Wilmer Difo to Double-A Harrisburg. Ross will start for the Nationals against the Mets on Tuesday night.

Ross, 22, returns to the Nationals for his second Major League stint of the season. The Nationals selected Ross’ contract from Double-A on June 6 and the rookie right-hander dazzled in three starts for Washington, going 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA. The first Major League assignment of Ross’ career included eight innings of two-run baseball over the Milwaukee Brewers on June 13 and one run over 7.1 IP in his next start, June 19 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ross, who has posted a 2.6 walks/9.0 IP mark over the course of his Minor League career, faced 51 Major League batters before he issued his first walk, a new Nationals (2005-present) record.

Since returning to the Minor Leagues, Ross has worked to a 3-1 record with a 2.19 ERA over five starts in his first experience at the Triple-A level. With Syracuse, Ross has never allowed more than three earned runs in a start.

Ross was acquired, along with infielder Trea Turner, from the San Diego Padres in a three-team trade that sent outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Minor League left-handed pitcher Travis Ott to the Tampa Bay Rays on December 18, 2014. He was originally selected by the Padres in the first round (No. 25 overall) of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Difo, 23, is 1-for-8 (.125) in the Major Leagues this season. The Nationals’ No. 8 prospect, per Baseball America’s mid-season rankings, is hitting .296 with a .343 on-base percentage and a .416 slugging percentage in 63 Minor League games this season across High Single-A and Double-A.

Nationals select contract of RHP Abel de Los Santos, option RHP Blake Treinen to Triple-A

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Abel de Los Santos from Double-A Harrisburg on Monday and optioned right-handed pitcher Blake Treinen to Triple-A Syracuse. Left fielder Jayson Werth was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear space for de Los Santos on the 40-man roster.

de Los Santos, 22, is 4-4 with a 2.65 ERA in 26 appearances (31.1 IP) for Double-A Harrisburg this season. The Dominican Republic-native has not allowed a run since June 8 – a 15-inning stretch (nine appearances) in which he has held opposing batters to a .104 average and struck out 15.

The hard-throwing right-hander has struck out 8.4 batters per nine innings this season in the Eastern League (career K/9: 9.1) and has posted a 0.884 WHIP. He has allowed only nine extra-base hits (7 doubles, 2 home runs) and walked just eight while striking out 35.

de Los Santos was acquired from the Texas Rangers, along with second baseman Chris Bostick, in exchange for left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler on Dec. 12, 2014.

Though he made eight appearances to begin 2014 with Single-A Hickory of the South Atlantic League, de Los Santos spent the majority of his season with Single-A Myrtle Beach (33 games), where he was 5-2 with a 1.97 ERA. Signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Rangers in 2010, de Los Santos worked to a 0.959 WHIP and struck out 10.4 batters per nine innings in 2014.

Treinen, 27, is 2-2 with a 4.39 ERA in 32 appearances (41.0 IP) out of the Nationals’ bullpen in 2015. His 44 strikeouts rank 16th in the National League and he has walked 21 batters this season.

Nationals recall INF Wilmer Difo and reinstate RHP Aaron Barrett

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals recalled infielder Wilmer Difo from Double-A Harrisburg, and returned from rehab and reinstated right-handed pitcher Aaron Barrett from the 15-day disabled list on Friday. Center fielder Denard Span was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 7, with back tightness and right-handed pitcher Jordan Zimmermann was placed on the paternity list.

Difo, 23, joins the Nationals for the third time this season. Most recently recalled on June 28 as the 26th-man for Washington’s doubleheader at Philadelphia, Difo has appeared in six games at the Major League level in 2015. He collected his first Major League hit in his first MLB at-bat, May 19 vs. New York Yankees.

Difo entered 2015 rated by Baseball America as the No. 7 prospect in Washington’s chain and was cited as the “Best Defensive Infielder” in the Nationals’ Minor League system by the same publication. In 63 games between Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg this season, Difo is hitting .296 (74-for-250) with 19 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 32 RBI, 14 walks, 14 stolen bases and 34 runs scored.

Barrett, 27, returns to the Nationals after missing 24 games with a right bicep strain. The right-hander did not allow a run and surrendered just three hits in 3.0 IP over four rehab games with Single-A Potomac. Before his injury, Barrett was 3-2 with a 5.06 ERA in 30 games out of the Nationals’ bullpen.

Since his Major League debut on Opening Day in 2014, Barrett’s 11.18 strikeout-to-walk ratio is the 15th-best mark among National League relievers.

Span, 31, ranks 10th in the National League in batting average at .304 through 59 games this season. He’s collected 15 doubles, five home runs, 22 RBI, 24 walks and 37 runs scored while going 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts.

Zimmermann, 29, is 7-5 with a 3.05 ERA this season. The two-time All-Star has been particularly strong of late, allowing just one earned run in his previous three starts, a 0.40 ERA (1 ER/22.2 IP). Zimmermann and his wife, Mandy, are expecting their second child.

Nationals RHP Max Scherzer named to 2015 NL All-Star team

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by Amanda Comak

Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer was named to the 2015 National League All-Star team on Monday night. Scherzer joins right fielder Bryce Harper, who was announced Sunday as a fan-elected starter, as the Nationals’ selections to the National League squad. The 2015 AL and NL All-Star rosters were unveiled during the “Esurance All-Star Selection Show” on ESPN on Monday night.

Washington NationalsScherzer, who has now received three consecutive All-Star nods, is 9-6 with a 1.82 ERA in 16 starts thus far this year. The right-hander earned his first National League honor via player vote.

“We are thrilled that Max and Bryce will be representing our team at this year’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati,” said Nationals Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner. “The performance of both of these players during the first half of this season has not only contributed directly and significantly to our team’s success, but it has been historic in nature as well.

“We are so fortunate to get to watch both of these talented players on a nightly basis, and we are honored to call them ours. We can’t wait to see them get the credit they so richly deserve on a stage with so many of baseball’s brightest talents.”

Scherzer joined the Nationals this past offseason, signing as a free agent on January 21, and the 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner has had quite a memorable start to his career in a Nationals uniform. Scherzer threw the second no-hitter in Nationals history (2005-present) on June 20 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates, carrying a perfect game into the ninth inning before pinch hitter Jose Tabata was hit with a pitch on his left elbow with two outs in the frame.

The no-hitter was one of three consecutive games in which Scherzer took a perfect game into at least the sixth inning, including his start ahead of June 20 (June 14 at Milwaukee) and the one that followed (June 26 at Philadelphia). Combining his no-hitter with his complete-game, one-hit shutout at Milwaukee, Scherzer became the fifth pitcher in the Modern Era, and the first since Jim Tobin (Boston Braves, 1944) to allow one hit or fewer in back-to-back complete games.

All told, Scherzer faced 54 batters between hits allowed (7th inn. at MIL on 6/14 – 6th inn. at PHI on 6/26), and opponents were 0-for-52 in that stretch (BB, HBP). Scherzer also ran his personal consecutive scoreless innings streak to 24.0 during that three-start stretch. He completed his third game of the season on Thursday night in Atlanta, despite suffering the loss.

Twice named the National League pitcher of the Month (May and June), Scherzer was also the National League Player of the Week for June 15-21.

The 2015 All-Star Game will be played at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday, July 14th. The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries.

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