- - Friday, April 26, 2019

Top Nationals prospect Carter Kieboom homered Friday in his third major league at-bat in Washington’s 4-3 loss to the San Diego Padres.

The 21-year-old, called up earlier in the day, started at shortstop and batting ninth as Washington began a three-game series.

“This whole thing is crazy to me. I was in high school three years ago, doing art projects and stuff,” Kieboom said.

Kieboom was a first-round draft pick by the Nationals out of his Georgia high school in 2016. This year he advanced to the Triple-A level for the first time and hit .379 in 18 games for Fresno with six doubles, three homers and 18 RBIs.

To make room for Kieboom on the 25-man roster the Nationals sent infielder Jake Noll back to Fresno. In order to clear a 40-man roster spot for Kieboom the club transferred pitcher Koda Glover to the 60-day injured list. He has not pitched for the Nationals this season.

Regular shortstop Trea Turner has been on the injured list since April 3, while utility man Wilmer Difo has filled in at short. The Nationals feel Difo is better suited to a utility role.

“We are excited to see him in his big-league debut. He has performed admirably at Triple-A. Hopefully he will help us win games,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said of Kieboom.

Kieboom has two older brothers, both of whom played college baseball. His brother Spencer is a catcher in the Nationals system and played in 52 games for Washington last season.

“An opportunity is all you can ask for as a player,” Carter Kieboom said. “I am excited to be here.”

Another top prospect, slugger Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., 20, was in the starting lineup for the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday in his first MLB game. The Padres shortstop is Fernando Tatis, Jr., who turned 20 in January and broke into the majors this season.

Last year Nationals left fielder Juan Soto, then 19, had one of the best hitting years ever for a teenager. “The golden days of young players,” Rizzo said.

Also on Friday the Nationals put reliever Trevor Rosenthal (36.00 ERA) on the injured list with a viral infection and brought back fellow reliever Justin Miller (5.68) from the injured list. Third baseman Anthony Rendon was back in the starting lineup Friday after getting hit on the left arm with a pitch last weekend in Miami.

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