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Justin Maxwell likely headed back to Syracuse -- again

Justin Maxwell sat in front of his locker today inside Great American Ballpark, pounding a ball into his glove, biding his time before tonight's game. His time here with the Nationals, Maxwell realizes, is running short. "I pretty much know," Maxwell said.

The Nationals haven't told Maxwell he'll be departing back to Class AAA Syracuse tonight in order to make room for Luis Atilano, who will start Tuesday against the Reds. Anything could happen - if one of the Nationals' outfielders is injured it could mean Maxwell stays, and there's no reason to prepare him for a demotion that never comes. But Maxwell, by this point, knows the deal: He'll likely be a minor leaguer by tomorrow.

"I haven't heard anything," Maxwell said. "But that's what I'm assuming. I'm ready for whatever."

You may have forgotten that Maxwell is currently apart of the Nationals. Since his latest call-up on July 9, his third this season and sixth in the past two years, Maxwell has appeared in three games and had six plate appearances. During a season spent shuttling between Class AAA and the majors, Maxwell has learned to block out what he can't control.

"I can't really worry about off-the-field stuff," Maxwell said. "I've just got to worry about what I can control. If you have that mind-set, it's a lot easier than to worry about what's about going to happen in the future when you yourself can't control it. That's the approach I've taken this year. I play baseball for a living. I don't think it could get much better than that."

Maxwell has managed to find some value in his stints with the Nationals, but "nothing really compares to in-game experience," he said. Because of his infrequent playing time with the Nationals, Maxwell has 286 plate appearances combined between the majors and minors this year. He suggested he might play in a winter ball league to make up the difference from the typical season.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 19, 2010; 6:07 PM ET
Categories:  Justin Maxwell , minors & farm system  
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Comments

It appears to me that Max is a very competent AAA outfielder - nothing more. Great attributes - size, speed, etc. but has not demonstrated anything that makes me think he can be a valuable Nat long term. Kinda like Bernadina, but I think Roger has more upside than Max. But they both have more than Nyjer. C'mon, Riggs, give Morse 20 games in a row to see if he can play. If he can't do it, or show potential to, go back to Nyjer. Just sayin'

Posted by: bogyfre | July 19, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

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