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Nationals release veteran outfielder Heisey

MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- By the time reporters arrived in the Nationals clubhouse on Sunday morning, Chris Heisey's locker was already cleaned out, about two minutes after Washington announced the veteran outfielder had been released. The move made room on the 40-man roster for Erick Fedde to make his Major League debut in Game 1 of the twin bill against the Rockies, which Colorado won, 10-6.

The move came days after the Nationals acquired Howie Kendrick, who provides the club with a veteran right-handed hitter, from the Phillies. The Nats would have likely needed to send down two bench players when all their hitters became healthy, and felt Heisey wasn't needed with Kendrick as an upgrade.

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WASHINGTON -- By the time reporters arrived in the Nationals clubhouse on Sunday morning, Chris Heisey's locker was already cleaned out, about two minutes after Washington announced the veteran outfielder had been released. The move made room on the 40-man roster for Erick Fedde to make his Major League debut in Game 1 of the twin bill against the Rockies, which Colorado won, 10-6.

The move came days after the Nationals acquired Howie Kendrick, who provides the club with a veteran right-handed hitter, from the Phillies. The Nats would have likely needed to send down two bench players when all their hitters became healthy, and felt Heisey wasn't needed with Kendrick as an upgrade.

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Kendrick and Ryan Raburn, who's hitting .262 this season, will be the team's main reserve right-handed hitters going forward.

"That was very difficult," said Nationals manager Dusty Baker, who also managed Heisey with the Reds from 2010-13. "We were going to put him on the extended DL, and he decided to take his release. He's been a very productive player for me. It was a rough year for him."

Heisey has battled injuries all season, hitting .162 in 38 games. The 32-year-old missed about six weeks with a right biceps rupture between May and July, and played just 10 contests before straining his left groin. Kendrick, meanwhile, entered Sunday hitting .291 in his 12-year career and has played in 30 postseason games.

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.

Washington Nationals, Chris Heisey