The Washington Nationals summoned top prospect Anthony Rendon and activated outfielder Jayson Werth on Tuesday as part of a roster shakeup that saw struggling second baseman Danny Espinosa placed on the disabled list and two relievers designated for assignment.
The Nationals also announced that right-hander Stephen Strasburg will miss his next scheduled start on Thursday against the New York Mets because of a lat strain. He will be replaced by Gio Gonzalez.
Relievers Henry Rodriguez and Zach Duke were jettisoned in the roster moves, with left-hander Ian Krol arriving from Double-A. Werth returned after being out since May 2 with a right hamstring strain.
Rendon, who turns 23 on Thursday, was promoted to Triple-A last week, and returns for a second stint with the big-league club. He filled in for third baseman Ryan Zimmerman earlier this season, but switched to second in the minors, leading to speculation that Espinosa was in danger.
Espinosa, 26, was batting .158 in 158 at-bats, with 47 strikeouts, following an offseason in which he opted not to have surgery to repair a torn left rotator cuff.
Krol came to the Nationals as the player to be named in the Michael Morse trade. He converted to relieving this season and posted a 0.69 ERA in 26 innings at Double-A, with a 0.81 WHIP.
Also, lefty reliever J.C. Romero opted out of his minor-league contract with the Nationals, he told the Washington Post. A 14-year veteran, had the option to leave the organization if not promoted to the big league by June 1.
"There's nothing more that I could prove in Triple A," Romero told the paper. "I felt in my heart that I could contribute to the major league club. I guess they thought otherwise."