The call-ups are here

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The Nationals’ September call-ups are here at last, and while there are some expected names among the five players promoted from Class AAA Syracuse, there are some surprises as well.

First off, the players added: Shortstop Ian Desmond, left-hander Ross Detwiler and right-handers Marco Estrada, Logan Kensing and Zack Segovia. Two other moves were made to clear space for Kensing and Segovia on the 40-man roster: Jorge Sosa was designated for assignment, while Scott Olsen was transferred to the 60-day DL.

I think everyone expected Desmond, Detwiler and probably Estrada to get the call. I’m not sure anyone expected Kensing and Segovia. And we’ve got to ask: Where are Shairon Martis and Clint Everts?

Mike Rizzo will hopefully have all those answers for us later this afternoon. In the meantime, here’s a quick look at the five guys who did get the call…

IAN DESMOND — This promotion has been a long time coming for the 23-year-old shortstop, who first came to our attention way back in the spring of 2005, when he was brought in from minor league camp to play a couple of big league exhibition games and wowed everyone with his defensive ability. I believe the words Derek and Jeter were thrown about by Jim Bowden, and Frank Robinson later that season said he believed Desmond was big league ready at that moment … defensively speaking, not offensively. Well, it’s been a long road since then for Desmond, who was slow to develop at the plate and had a penchant for making a ton of errors. At long last, he put it all together this year, batting .330 with seven homers, 32 RBI and 21 stolen bases combined between Class AA Harrisburg and Class AAA Syracuse. It’s finally time to determine whether he is the franchise’s shortstop of the future or not. I believe he’ll get ample opportunity over the next month, perhaps pushing the Nats to make a decision on Cristian Guzman this winter.

ROSS DETWILER — Detwiler himself made a major leap earlier this season, enough to earn a promotion to the Nats’ rotation in May. He wound up making 10 starts, looking good at times but stuggling at others, before getting sent down during the All-Star break. The 23-year-old lefty did pitch very well for Syracuse the last two months, going 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA, earning his call back up. He is expected to start Saturday in Miami and will probably get a couple more starts before reaching his innings limit for the season.

MARCO ESTRADA — We saw Estrada up here in D.C. last September as a reliever. He wasn’t all that impressive, but he came back strong this year as a starter at Syracuse, going 9-5 with a 3.63 ERA in 25 starts. He may get one or two chances to start up here, but I would think it’s more likely he pitches out of the bullpen.

LOGAN KENSING — This move is, to be honest, shocking. Kensing already made two stints in the Nats’ bullpen this year and looked awful. This after he had already been designated for assignment by the Marlins. So he’s been DFA’d three times this season by two different teams. And yet he’s back up here? I suppose Kensing has been really good at Class AAA (2.97 ERA and 17 saves). But how many chances is he going to get up here?

ZACK SEGOVIA — This 26-year-old right-hander isn’t a classic up-and-coming prospect. In fact, he made one start in the majors for the Phillies in 2007. But after signing a minor league deal over the winter, he posted a 2.54 ERA and held opponents to a .184 average as a reliever. So we’ll see what he’s got up here.

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Mark Zuckerman

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