The Washington Times - July 31, 2012, 03:13PM

The Washington Nationals made the first of two anticipated deadline-time moves on Tuesday afternoon when they activated utility man Chad Tracy from the disabled list and optioned outfielder Corey Brown back to Triple-A Syracuse.

It might not have the flash of a deadline trade but this is a significant move for the Nationals as they prepare for the season’s final two months. Tracy was their most productive bench bat, a left-handed weapon late in games that manager Davey Johnson had come to rely on heavily. His loss for the last two months to a torn right adductor was difficult for the Nationals to absorb.

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How good was Tracy at his role in the season’s first two months? He’s missed the last 55 games after May 31 surgery to repair the muscle tear and his nine pinch-hit RBI are still tied for second in the major leagues. Tracy is hitting .265 with three doubles, three homers and 12 RBI in 32 games this season. On rehab assignment, Tracy hit .351 with a homer and five RBI with Triple-A Syracuse and Single-A Potomac. 

Brown becomes the unfortunate victim of a roster crunch again, though this week-long stint was productive for the outfielder as he picked up his first major league hit and homer and put together a fine offensive series in Milwaukee.

The Nationals are high on Brown so the move is not a knock on him at all, simply a roster crunch. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Brown in the big leagues again