September youth influx complete
The Washington Nationals completed their 2011 roster expansion Tuesday, adding right-hander Brad Peacock and infielder Steve Lombardozzi, along with right-handers Yunesky Maya, Craig Stammen, left-hander Atahualpa Severino and outfielder Corey Brown.
In order to create space on the team’s 40-man roster for Stephen Strasburg, Peacock and Lombardozzi, the Nats moved Cole Kimball to the 60-day disabled list, released right-hander Adam Carr and designated right-hander Garrett Mock for assignment. Strasburg had been on the team’s 60-day disabled list before being activated Tuesday night in preparation for his first major league start following Tommy John surgery.
The Nationals’ active roster is at 36. Ryan Mattheus (15-day disabled list), and prospects Matt Purke, Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper are the only other players on the Nationals' current 40-man roster.
While Maya, Stammen and Severino have been up with the Nationals this season, it’s the first time for Peacock, Lombardozzi and Brown. If and when they get into a game, it will be the major league debut for all three - along with Severino, who has been up but never been used.
When Peacock takes the mound, it’ll be just the second big-league stadium he has ever been in The first was during the Futures Game in Arizona in July. For a kid who threw just eight innings in high school, spending most of his time as a light-hitting third baseman, and was drafted in the 41st round in 2006, it was, is and will be a surreal moment.
“Oh God, yeah, it’s unbelievable,” Peacock said. “It’s what I’ve been waiting for my whole life, and I’m just ready to get out there and get the nerves out. Get on the mound and just do what I do.”
Lombardozzi, a Columbia, Md., native and son of the former major leaguer of the same name, took up residence inside the Nationals’ clubhouse a few stalls from Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond. Lombardozzi will be used at shortstop and second base - and perhaps even third base. Though he is primarily a second baseman, Lombardozzi said he’s starting to feel comfortable at shortstop.
“It’s pretty unbelievable,” Lombardozzi said of his first big-league call-up. “And to be so close to home, it’s a pretty unbelievable feeling.”
Brown, who was acquired with Henry Rodriguez from the Oakland Athletics in the offseason for Josh Willingham, is a former first-round pick who finished the season at Triple-A hitting .330 with five homers in his final month of the season. He is most comfortable in center field but said he’s willing to play wherever, whenever the Nationals ask him.
“I’ll be the first left-handed catcher if I have to,” Brown said. “I’ve been learning left field lately. … If I had a choice I’d say center. It’s actually, to me, the easiest out there.”
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