The lone roster move by the Washington Nationals as baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline passed Tuesday had nothing to do with a trade. Utilityman Chad Tracy, sidelined since May 27 with a torn right adductor muscle, was activated from the 15-day disabled list.
To clear room on the 25-man roster, outfielder Corey Brown was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
Tracy, who is second in Major League Baseball with nine pinch-hit RBIs, had surgery May 31 and his rehabilitation continued on schedule. After 12 rehabilitation games for Syracuse and Single-A Potomac, Tracy feels as ready as he will this season.
“My swing feels good,” Tracy said before Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies. “That’s the most important thing being able to come off the bench and give you a quality at-bat.”
Tracy is 6-for-18 with three walks and one hit-by-pitch as a pinch-hitter, providing manager Davey Johnson a useful weapon off the bench along with a player who can sub at first and third.
Baserunning, particularly the first step and quickness, took the longest to come back to Tracy. All that felt fine Tuesday.
In Syracuse, Tracy delivered a pinch-hit home run Sunday, then finished his rehabilitation assignment by going 2-for-4 Monday.
“That’s kind of the mindset I wanted to get into,” Tracy said.