SAN FRANCISCO -- The Nationals made a number of roster moves in order to reset their bench to full strength prior to Tuesday night's game against the Giants.Infielder Adrian Sanchez and outfielder Rafael Bautista were promoted from Triple-A Syracuse, while the team placed right-hander Shawn Kelley, who exited Monday night's
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Nationals made a number of roster moves in order to reset their bench to full strength prior to Tuesday night's game against the Giants.
Infielder Adrian Sanchez and outfielder Rafael Bautista were promoted from Triple-A Syracuse, while the team placed right-hander Shawn Kelley, who exited Monday night's game with an ulnar nerve irritation, on the 10-day disabled list and optioned Matt Reynolds to Triple-A as the corresponding moves.
Kelley lasted just four pitches Monday night before he had to leave the game with a similar issue he felt in 2016, when he said a sensation went through his arm and he had trouble feeling his fingers. The club will allow Kelley to rest for the next few days before he is further evaluated when they return to Washington. Considering Kelley's history of arm troubles, including two Tommy John surgeries, the decision was easy to place him on the DL.
"We want to make sure we don't do any more damage," manager Dave Martinez said. "And just give him a little breather."
Washington had been playing a man short on the bench, so the move will return the Nats to five bench players as well as give them some flexibility with their position players to fill in for injuries.
Bautista, the Nationals' No. 20-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, gives the Nats another outfielder to fill in while Adam Eaton remains on the DL with a left ankle contusion. Bautista had also started the season playing well at Syracuse, where he was hitting .429 with three stolen bases and seven runs scored in 10 games.
"I've been working on the strike zone and my swing a lot," Bautista said. "And it's getting better and better every game, every at-bat."
And Sanchez gives them more flexibility in the infield while both second baseman Daniel Murphy (right knee) and third baseman Anthony Rendon (left big toe) are also sidelined. Sanchez had two separate stints with Washington in 2017 and said he feels most comfortable playing third base, where he is starting Tuesday.
Sanchez replaces Reynolds as the Nats' utility infielder on the roster. Reynolds had struggled in 13 plate appearances with Washington, collecting just one hit and a walk while striking out four times.
Martinez meets with Gonzalez
Nationals left-hander Giovany Gonzalez voiced his displeasure with the perceived quick hook from Monday night's 4-2 loss to the Giants when he was pulled from the game in the sixth inning after issuing a leadoff walk with 94 pitches.
Gonzalez said after the game that he "100 percent" thought he should have remained in the game. The two spoke on Tuesday and now say the issue is behind them.
"We talked today and we had a good conversation," Martinez said. "I told him hey, you gave us a great chance to win but our bullpen was pretty fresh so I thought it was a good opportunity before anything got out of hand to get somebody in there."
UMPS Care charity auction
Nationals fans have the chance to bid on some unique opportunities or memorabilia from their favorite team while also helping a good cause for the 10th annual Umps Care charity auction.
Fans can bid for a Bryce Harper jersey, four tickets to a game complete with a batting-practice experience or even a Harper "Gobblehead" figurine from Class A Potomac.
Major League Baseball umpires will offer up more than 300 items that include priceless autographed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind VIP experiences, and upgraded ticket packages during its 10th Annual UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction. The auction is currently underway at www.mlb.com/UmpsCare and closes at 10 p.m. ET on Monday. Some of the items up for bid include signed bats, cleats, jerseys, photos and baseballs from some of the biggest stars in baseball. There are also opportunities to watch batting practice up close on the field at many MLB ballparks, hotel stays with game tickets, opportunities to have lunch with an MLB umpire, suites and tickets from Minor League Baseball clubs, golf foursomes and more.
All proceeds from the Online Auction support UMPS CARE Charities youth programs to provide MLB experiences for children awaiting adoption, Build-A-Bear Workshop experiences for hospitalized children coping with serious illnesses, college scholarships for deserving young adults who were adopted as children and financial assistance for families in need.
"Each year thanks to the support from our friends in Major League Baseball and throughout the sports world we get some fantastic items for our auction, and this year is no exception," said Gary Darling, former MLB umpire and board president for UMPS CARE Charities. "This is the biggest fundraising initiative that we have to help so many children in need, and we can't thank everyone enough for all of the support. Please tell all of your friends, bid early and bid often to help this great cause."
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.