The Nationals optioned right-hander Collin Balester to Class AAA Syracuse following tonight's loss in Pittsburgh, paving the way for Todd Coffey to return from the disabled list tomorrow.
Balester made three appearances during his brief stint with the Nats, allowing three runs (all Thursday in St. Louis) over 3 1/3 total innings. The reliever, who still has minor-league options, figures to make regular trips back and forth from Washington to Syracuse this season.
Coffey, out since April 9 with a strained left calf, is eligible to come off the 15-day DL tomorrow. The right-hander remained with the club during his DL stint and threw off a bullpen mound in Pittsburgh.