The Washington Nationals will add three pitchers and four or five position players when rosters expand in September, manager Davey Johnson said Friday.
Most of the callups will be familiar names, whether from previous major league stints or time in major league camp during spring training, and as Johnson indicated last week, it does not appear that second baseman Danny Espinosa will be among them.
“There’s nobody who would be coming up who hasn’t played for me before,” Johnson said. “With your call-ups, you reward people for good years.”
The Nationals are expecting their pitchers to arrive on Sunday, and the position players could come a bit later.
Along with Ian Krol, who will be one of those called up, right-hander Erik Davis and left-hander Xavier Cedeno will likely round out the group of pitchers.
As for the position players, it now appears likely that infielder Zach Walters will get a call-up. Johnson, long a fan of Walters’ potential, was asked directly about the International League All-Star on Friday and he smiled.
“He’s certainly deserving,” Johnson said. “I would like to see him come up.”
Walters, who has hit .256 with a .288 on-base percentage but slugged .529 (and hit 29 home runs as part of his 66 extra-base hits), will need to be added to the Nationals’ 40-man roster in order to join the major league team. But the Nationals could shift Taylor Jordan, who has been shut down for the season, to the 60-day disabled list.
Outfielders Jeff Kobernus, Corey Brown and Eury Perez figure to be among those added from the position-player side of things. Chris Marrero, too, could earn himself a call-up.
As for Espinosa, if he indeed does not return to the major league team this season it will be a blow to him financially as well. Based on the projections for the amount of service time it will take for players to earn Super 2 status, Espinosa may now fall just shy of qualifying — meaning he will not become arbitration eligible and will earn around the league minimum the next time he is in the majors.
Espinosa hit .158/.193/.272 in 44 games in the major leagues this season. After being sent to Triple-A on June 4, Espinosa has hit .213/.280/.287 in 72 games in the minor leagues.