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Luis Atilano optioned, will make his next major league start

The Nationals optioned rookie starter Luis Atilano to Class AAA Syracuse, where Atilano will pitch Thursday in order to remain sharp over the all-star break. Atilano will rejoin the Nationals after the all-star break and start in Cincinnati.

The Nationals will play with 24 men tonight against the Giants, but all signs indicate Justin Maxwell will replace Atilano for the next 10 days, the minimum time a player must spend in the minors upon being optioned, barring injury. Maxwell, who has played 21 games for the Nationals this season, was scratched from the lineup tonight in Syracuse.

The manuevering allows the Nationals to add a player to their bench at no cost -- Atilano would not have played in the next 10 days, anyway.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 9, 2010; 6:15 PM ET
 
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