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It was difficult for them to give up on Rodriguez, a key part of the trade that sent Josh Willingham to Oakland, and his obvious potential, but he simply could not find consistent enough command of his electric stuff. The Nationals also believed they miscast Duke as a reliever. Johnson felt both will likely be claimed off waivers.

Krol, the 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the Oakland A’s, was the player to be named in the Michael Morse trade. The Nationals always felt they were getting a quality prospect in return, though, and Krol, who switched to a reliever this year, has had great success at Double-A. In 26 innings, Krol has faced 101 batters, a 0.69 ERA and has an impressive 0.808 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched).

“It was a tough day for me,” Johnson said. “Anytime you have to designate a couple of your family to the waiver list, it’s tough. You feel a little lost that you couldn’t have put them in situations to get better. … It was good to see some young guys called up, but it’s also tough.”