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Nationals make some minor league moves

The Washington Nationals made a handful of player moves Monday that will affect Class AA Harrisburg, notably demoting left-handed pitcher Aaron Thompson from Class AAA Syracuse.

In addition to Thompson's move, infielder Ofilio Castro will rejoin the Senators from extended spring training and infielder Nick Johnson will come to Harrisburg from short-season-A Vermont. Also, infielder Adam Fox and outfielder Michael Daniel were placed on the disabled list. Daniel is retroactive to last Thursday.

The Senators open a three-game series at Reading on Monday night.

A first-round pick by the Florida Marlins in 2005, Thompson was dealt to the Nationals last July for first baseman Nick Johnson, now with the New York Yankees. Last summer, Thompson posted a 3.31 earned run average and an 0-3 record in six starts with Harrisburg. He made three starts with Harrisburg this spring before being promoted to Syracuse.

In recent outings with the Senators, Thompson had reportedly mixed a two-seam fastball, a changeup and a slider for strikes. He has a 2.87 ERA and has thrown 14 strikeouts to just three walks. On Saturday, in his only start with Syracuse, Thompson earned the win after allowing one run and five hits in five innings in the Cheifs' 6-3 victory over Rochester.

By Mark Viera  |  April 26, 2010; 1:04 PM ET
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I'm confused. Was Thompson demo awazzy7 ted or promoted? He's been a H' burg no? Also, there's another Nick Johnson in the system?

Posted by: chekhov1 | April 26, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

If Thompson is so good, why was he demoted? He must be BUMMED.

Posted by: NatsNut | April 26, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Plus I think JOSH Johnson is coming up to Hagerstown.


Posted by: NatsNut | April 26, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. What's behind Thompson's quick round trip to Syracuse? Could it be that they need a rotation spot for an imminent promotion of another starter from Harrisburg?

Posted by: Section222 | April 26, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Would love to hear some rationale/insight for this move. Doesn't sound like a performance issue for Thompson. Were they just getting him some experience at AAA, with bodies moving around? With Atilano up at Washington, who will be the 5th starter at Syracuse? Is one of Detweiler, Mock or Marquis ready for a rehab stint? Will they move Strasburg up?? Looks like both AAA and AA are light on starters right now....

Posted by: TheBorg | April 26, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

wow how many starters do we have? maybe Wang or Detwiler is ready for rehab starts

Posted by: destewar | April 26, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

YOU'RE confused??

I'm confused. Was Thompson demo awazzy7 ted or promoted? He's been a H' burg no? Also, there's another Nick Johnson in the system?
Posted by: chekhov1 | April 26, 2010 1:30 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 26, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

We got Josh Johnson from the Marlins and we're hiding him in Harrisburg? Wow, what a scoop NatsNut!

Posted by: Section222 | April 26, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Thompson got called up to SYR to cover for Atilano's promotion to WSH. When Chuck James was activated, SYR had a glut of starters, so Thompson goes back down to HAR.

Posted by: BinM | April 26, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

YOU'RE confused??

I'm confused. Was Thompson demo awazzy7 ted or promoted? He's been a H' burg no? Also, there's another Nick Johnson in the system?
Posted by: chekhov1 | April 26, 2010 1:30 PM
Sorry, commenting from the iphone not so great an idea. :-)

Posted by: chekhov1 | April 26, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, BinM, for the clarification. I was beginning to forget my own phone number there for awhile.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | April 26, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Considering that Balestar got lit up for 8 runs in 4.1 innings today, there may soon be another starter job opening up in Syracuse...

Posted by: brewer1 | April 26, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, chekhov1, I kind of liked "demo awazzy7 ted."

Sounded like Snoop Dogg...

Posted by: baltova1 | April 26, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

They needed the spot for Bergmann. Thompson's day to pitch was that day. They brought him up in place of Atilano, who's day it was also to pitch. Meanwhile, they started Erikson in place of Thompson (Erickson has been doing a pretty fair imitation of Clip in Harrisburg).

Look at the Syracuse roster. No one is "demoted" to Harrisburg. Harrisburg pretty much has every single near-to-the-major leagues prospect. Syracuse has veteran depth. If its about promotion and demotion there are pitchers in SYR who likely should have been demoted, and those in Harrisburg promoted (and not just Strasburg). Chris Duncan is hitting well below the Mendoza line in SYR. It doesn't look as if he should be there as yet. But he is a veteran as is almost the entire roster in Syracuse.

Posted by: periculum | April 26, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

FWIW - I think Thompson was returned back to Harrisburg not for performance related reasons, but that they brought Bergmann back into the system, so they needed to make a spot for him in Syracuse, so Thompson went back down. I think "demotion" although accurate could be a little misleading, since it wasn't like he didn't perform well (getting a win in a 5IP, 1H, 4K, 3BB outing on Saturday).

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | April 26, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeah - doesn't really matter where Thompson is throwing at the moment. What is important is that he's throwing pretty well and showing progress.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 26, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

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