“We feel like we’ve really stabilized our middle infield for the short term as well as the long term,” Bowden said.
Nunez, 22, had a 1.13 ERA in five relief appearances with Class AA Harrisburg after starting the season at Class A Potomac, attracting the Yankees’ attention. He was originally acquired in 2006 from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Marlon Anderson.
“I really like him. It was hard to do,” Bowden said. “But at the end of the day, I was convinced because our baseball people unanimously felt Gonzalez was an everyday major league shortstop, not just an extra player. It made it easier to make this decision.”
Dukes returns less than four weeks after suffering damage to both the meniscus and patellar tendon in his right knee tracking down a fly ball in Cincinnati. He went 5-for-15 in three rehab games at Columbus.
The Nationals will need to make another move prior to Friday’s game to clear one more spot on the 25-man roster.
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