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Danny Espinosa, Wilson Ramos and Collin Balester to be called up

The Nationals will begin their September call-ups tonight by recalling catcher Wilson Ramos and reliever Collin Balester and selecting the contract of Danny Espinosa, adding an additional reliever and, most significantly, two players the Nationals see as potential pieces of their future. All three players will be available tonight. Espinosa and Ramos will be available tonight, and Balester will likely join the Nationals by the weekend.

Espinosa, 23, will make his first appearance in the majors after his excellent minor league. Espinosa at one point was the only minor leaguer to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases. A shortstop most of his career since the Nationals drafted him in the third round in 2008, Espinosa began playing second base after his call-up last month to Class AAA Syracuse, a sign the Nationals may see him and shortstop Ian Desmond as their future double play combination.

In 123 games this year with Class AA Harrisburg and Syracuse, Espinosa has hit .268/.337/.464 (average/on-base/slugging) with 22 home runs, 23 other extra-base hits and 25 stolen bases. Espinosa, a switch-hitter, made gains hitting left-handed, one scout who saw him recently said, which precipitated his promotion to Syracuse.

Ramos, the highly regarded catching prospect the Nationals acquired from the Minnesota Twins in their trade of Matt Capps, will make his second appearance for the Nationals. Ramos started one game in his brief stay with the Nationals in August, subbing for Wil Nieves as he attended the wife for the birth of his first child. Ramos went 0 for 4 but flashed signs of why the Nationals believe he could become an elite defensive catcher.

In the 20 games since Ramos arrived in Syracuse, he has hit .316/.341/.494 with three home runs. Ramos will likely begin next season as Ivan Rodriguez's backup, if he does not share the Nationals' catcher position.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 1, 2010; 2:59 PM ET
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"Espinosa at one point was the only minor leaguer to hit 20 home runs and steal bases."

I find this really hard to believe. Did it come from a Mike Wise tweet?

Posted by: FeelWood | September 1, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"The Nationals will begin their September call-ups tonight by recalling reliever Collin Balester"

A pre-emptive shot across the bow in case the Marlins are thinking about plunking Morgan?

Posted by: FeelWood | September 1, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

gosh thank goodness Balester is back. Now I will definitely send in my renewal notice for next year.

Posted by: garyolney | September 1, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Haha, FeelWood. That crossed my mind as well regarding Bally.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | September 1, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness... now let's see them both in the lineup! Kennedy is no leadoff man... and Pudge, love ya, but your complete lack of plate discipline has turned you into an out machine... if they aren't in the lineup tonight, I would love to see both of them playing 2 games each over the weekend!

Balester actually looks kind of interesting working out of the pen... kind of scary at times, too... but he really shows off a power arm in his short relief stints...

Posted by: Ghost7 | September 1, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

This will make the team interesting to watch for the rest of September. Nieves is the out machine (plus weak arm). I hope to never see him catch (in a NATS uniform) again. Let's give them some time to adjust to the bigs however.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | September 1, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Here's the problem with my second favorite baseball team. Ramos. No way we should be using I-Roid. What the heck has he done!!!! How many homers, How many times on the DL!!! You got Ramos in an excellent trade and he should be your full time catcher from now and for the next 10 years. WHY MOVE HARPER TO THE OUTFIELD IF YOU'RE TRADING FOR THIS GUY!!!! Don't give me that Harper will get to the majors faster crap. He's a top flight catcher with a gun for an arm. He's going to hit, Oh man is he going to hit, so you keep Ramos down instead of playing him over who??? Wil (nice guy but...). You've got the talent, now use it!!!

Posted by: Dog-1 | September 1, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Balestar is back? Ramos and Espinosa, can see that more. They need to be calling up Wilkie and possibly Carr.

Posted by: natsfan3131 | September 1, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

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