Monday, May 28, 2012

Tracy to DL, Brown called up

MIAMI -- A Nationals club already plagued by countless injuries added another key player to the disabled list today: Chad Tracy.

The veteran corner infielder and baseball's best pinch-hitter so far this season was placed on the 15-day DL with a right groin strain and will travel to Philadelphia tomorrow to be examined by the doctor that performed double sports hernia surgery in the same area in November.

Thus, the Nationals have another new player in uniform for today's series opener against the Marlins, having purchased the contract of outfielder Corey Brown from Class AAA Syracuse. (Because Brown needed to be added to the 40-man roster, the Nationals transferred outfielder Jayson Werth from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL to clear space.)

Tracy hurt himself running out a double during Saturday's game in Atlanta, then revealed that he had the hernia surgery during the offseason. The 32-year-old is 6-for-18 with an MLB-leading nine RBI as a pinch-hitter.

The Nationals are hopeful Tracy won't need another surgery in the area, one that would sideline him for several months, and that he merely broke up scar tissue. "But he's another one that's valuable you don't want to lose," manager Davey Johnson said.

Brown, meanwhile, joins the big-league roster after going on a hitting spree at Syracuse. For the season, he hit 12 home runs with 30 RBI and a .297 average, but five of those homers have come over his last five games.

The 26-year-old flew down to Miami yesterday to be in place in case Tracy needed to go on the DL. He can only hope this big-league stint goes better than his brief debut with the Nationals last September, when he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and then had to be shut down with a knee infection that required surgery.

"I really try not to dwell on last year and everything that happened," he said. "Kind of just look forward from spring on, and I think with that just looking at the positives it's helped me throughout the year. I just want to continue to do what I've been doing."

Though Brown was leading off and playing center field every day for Syracuse, he figures to come off the bench for Washington, as has been the case for another player who was an offensive roll at Class AAA before his promotion: Tyler Moore.

"I've got Tyler Moore, who was tearing it up down there, and I haven't been able to play him on a regular basis," Johnson said. "I need to get [Rick] Ankiel, he's been showing of really coming around, he's been swinging the bat good. It's a question of getting all 25 going, and then you figure out what's the best scenario."


baseballswami said...

If this was a movie - The Attack of the Killer Replacement Players! Even though I am distraught with all of this dl activity, our guys stepping up have done well. Rather the first half than the second half. Everyone should be fresh,healthy and rested up for the second half!

Steady Eddie said...

Now that we've learned a little about Davey-speak, I would translate this --
I need to get [Rick] Ankiel, he's been showing of really coming around, he's been swinging the bat good. It's a question of getting all 25 going, and then you figure out what's the best scenario.

as meaning, "Rick, I'm glad you're starting to hit a little, but if you don't stop K'ing at high heat and low garbage out of the zone with RISP, you're going back to the bench."

Exhibit A -- Det.

NatsLady said...

Eddie==>LOL. Right on the money.

UnkyD said...

Brown is gonna have to be productive, every single time up, and look good in the OF, to get a good look. GAWD, I hope he can shove The Arm to the prominent bench role he is so well suited for....

Steve J, Alexandria said...

I wish that both Rick Ankiel and Danny Espi would cut down on their swings a bit when getting two strikes on them (which is most of the time). both of them swing from their heals when only contact is needed -- often times resulting in K's, needless K's.

Steve J, Alexandria said...

On Brown ... I'd be surprised if Brown is gets 10 Ab's -- and what's up with Moore? Never plays, out of position in of, while playing it too timidly, and doesnt hit when he gets the chance.

peric said...

Moore is VERY MUCH a different case and situation to Brown.

Moore is a player without a position. Of course the injury to Tracy just might change that. His best position is first base. With LaRoche and Tracy hitting Moore languishes on the bench.

The experiment to put Moore in left field is still a work in progress. He gets at most 2 AB's before Davey double switches him for a defensive replacement. Something he has not done with Lombardozzi in left.

Message? Moore is not even close to ready to play the outfield yet.

Moore needs to return to AAA ... that is of course unless there's another injury to add the countless others and it occurs at first base. Its not like LaRoche is immune given last season's fiasco.

Now Brown? He can start and play CF or any other position in the outfield. Not defensive replacement needed. Five tool with a plus arm and plus ISO given his season in the minors in which just about 1/2 of his hits were for extra bases. Something Mark, of course, failed to mention. That and he has four triples, two coming in the last two games he played along with 2 of those five home runs.

In other words: Brown looks like everyone expected Harper to look down in AAA. He was destroying the IL from his lead-off spot. In fact after he was shut down they promptly went on a losing streak after winning more than losing of late.

Syracuse misses Brown's bat and Tyler Moore's for that matter. Moore really should be returned to the AAA affiliate when he can play every day and learn to play left field.

natsfan1a said...

Feel better, Chad. We want our Goon Squad Leader and Chief Helmet Remover to be healthy and ready to wreak havoc on opposing pitchers.

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