Kearns to DL, Padilla called up

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The Nationals just announced a minute ago they placed outfielder Austin Kearns on the disabled list with a right thumb contusion and called Jorge Padilla up from Class AAA Syracuse to take his place.

Kearns has been limited to two pinch hit appearances in the last four games because of the injury, which cost him significant playing time in an outfield thinned because of the position shifts following the trade of Nick Johnson last Friday. We’ll find out this afternoon how severe the injury is, but it’s yet another disappointing development in the outfielder’s time with the Nationals, which is almost certainly coming to an end. He’s hitting .195 in 80 games with just three homers and 17 RBI.

As for Padilla, he’ll finally reach the majors after 12 seasons in the minor leagues. The 29-year-old was hitting .367 at Syracuse with four homers and 21 RBI. Whether this is a reward for that performance or a move made because the Nationals don’t have many other major-league caliber players at Syracuse, it should be a sweet day for Padilla.

We’ll have more on this later in the day.

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