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Werth activated, Rendon recalled as Nationals shake up roster

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Anthony Rendon (left) and Jayson Werth rejoined the Nationals on Tuesday. (USATSI)
Anthony Rendon (left) and Jayson Werth rejoined the Nationals on Tuesday. (USATSI)

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With their record sitting at a disappointing 28-29, the Nationals decided to shake up their roster on Tuesday. Here's the list of moves:

  • Outfielder Jayson Werth activated off DL.
  • Top prospect Anthony Rendon called up from Triple-A.
  • Left-hander Ian Krol called up from Double-A.
  • Second baseman Danny Espinosa placed on 15-day DL.
  • Right-hander Henry Rodriguez designated for assignment and placed on waivers.
  • Left-hander Zach Duke released.

Werth, 34, missed a month with a hamstring problem. Washington was expected to activate him on Tuesday as long as he came through his recent minor-league rehab games well. In 27 games before the injury, he hit .260/.308/.400 with four home runs and two stolen bases. Werth will give the team some much-needed outfield depth with Bryce Harper on the DL.

Rendon, 22, went 6 for 25 (.240) in eight games with the Nats earlier this season. He's hit .307/.452/.575 with six homers in 36 minor-league games this year, all but three at Double-A. A natural third baseman, the Nationals have had Rendon working out at second base recently and will him use there at the big-league level.

Espinosa, 26, has hit a miserable .158/.193/.272 with three home runs this season, though he has been playing with a bone chip in his right wrist. He also has been battling shoulder problems, so he'll finally get a chance to get healthy before returning to the team at full strength. GM Mike Rizzo confirmed Rendon will get the majority of the playing time at second base, and there's a chance he will remain with the team even after Espinosa is healthy.

The hard-throwing Rodriguez was part of the trade that sent Josh Willingham to the Athletics in December 2010. He's pitched to a 5.13 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 47 1/3 innings these last two years after being a reliable setup man in 2010. Given the 26-year-old's triple-digit fastball, he'll likely get claimed off waivers in the coming days.

Duke, 30, threw 20 2/3 innings with a 8.71 ERA and 1.89 WHIP out of Washington's bullpen this year. He was the team's only left-hander until Fernando Abad was recalled last month. Duke has gone 50-75 with a 4.60 ERA in parts of nine big-league seasons.

Krol, 22, was acquired from the Athletics as part of the three-team Mike Morse/John Jaso trade with the Mariners this offseason. He moved to the bullpen full-time this season and owns a 0.69 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in 26 innings for the team's Double-A affiliate before being called. Krol has never been in the big leagues.

CBSSpots.com's Danny Knobler hears the Nationals are leaning towards placing right-hander Stephen Strasburg on the DL due to his lat problem, though he will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday before a decision is made. Catcher Wilson Ramos could miss another six weeks with his hamstring injury.

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