UPDATE (3:34 pm):  Balester will have to wait until the weekend.  He had just been optioned last Thursday and has to spend 10 days in the minors before recall, barring injury.


The Washington Nationals will call up C Wilson Ramos and P Collin Balester, plus select the contract of INF Danny Espinosa from the minor leagues.  The team expects the players will be active for tonight's game in Miami.

Espinosa, 23, played shortstop most of the season, but since his call-up to Triple-A Syracuse a couple of weeks ago has been playing second base, where the Nats envision him competing for the starting job in spring training.  In 123 combined games this season with Syracuse and Class AA Harrisburg, Espinosa hit .268 with 22 homers, 69 RBI and 25 stolen bases.

He is one of only two minor-league players from any organization with at least 20 homers and 20 steals this year.

Ramos, 22, was acquired at the trade deadline in exchange for All-Star closer Matt Capps.  He appeared in one game for the Nats while backup catcher Wil Nieves was away from the team for the birth of his first child.  Ramos is 8-for-31 this season between the Twins and the Nats, and hit .258/.293/.378 overall this season in 91 games in Triple-A with eight home runs and 38 RBIs.
With Syracuse, Ramos hit .316/.341/.494 in 82 plate appearances.
Balester, 24, is no stranger to the Nats roster, having been up-and-down several times this season and appeared on the big league roster in 2008 and 2009 as well.  Overall, in 28 MLB games Balester is 4-12 with a 5.80 ERA.
The Nationals may call a few more players up at the conclusion of the minor league season.


  1. bdrube // September 1, 2010 at 4:15 PM  

    On Espinosa, I hate to say "I told you so," but...well, you know.

    Now here's hoping that Rizzo can convince Riggs to give Espinosa and Ramos lots of playing time.

  2. Anonymous // September 1, 2010 at 4:48 PM  

    Speaking of which ... Nieves batting eight tonight instead of Ramos. Kennedy batting seventh ... not as heinous a maneuver as picking Nieves over Ramos but still doubleswitch Jim Riggleman in his purest form.

  3. Dave Nichols // September 1, 2010 at 6:04 PM  

    yup, i was wrong. as late as Sunday I had folks around the team saying they didn't want to bring Espi up.

    of course, Riggs doesn't have either one in the lineup tonight.