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.
September 1, 2010; 2:59 PM ET
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