Washington Nationals Call Up Lucas Giolito And Wilmer Difo

Today, the Washington Nationals re-called Lucas Giolito and Wilmer Difo to the Major League roster

Before tonight’s game against the Atlanta Braves, the Washington Nationals added two more players to their expanded Major League roster. They called up right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito and infielder Wilmer Difo, both of whom have played for the Nats at some point this season:

This season, Giolito has made four starts for the Nats and he is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA. In his last start in the minors on September 2 against Pawtucket for triple-A Syracuse, he was dominant. The 22-year-old went eight innings, gave up two hits, struck out five, and walked one on 108 pitches (68 strikes) in a no-decision.

It remains to be seen what Giolito’s role is going to be for the Washington Nationals the rest of the way. Right now, if he stayed on turn as a starter, he would be an option to pitch in tomorrow’s game against the Braves if Stephen Strasburg can’t go. Strasburg threw a bullpen today, but Dusty Baker won’t name a starter until after tonight’s game:

Grant Thomas wrote about yesterday that Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez might not be ready to be consistent contributors to the rotation just yet. If Strasburg can’t go tomorrow, A.J. Cole could also be an option to start tomorrow since he would be on his regular turn as well. Cole won his first Major League game last Friday against the Mets.

As for Difo, the 24-year-old was sent back down to the minors on August 28 when the Nats called up Giolito to start against the Rockies. Difo played in nine games for double-A Harrisburg and Syracuse and had a hit in eight of those nine games.

Difo hit .257 with five RBI’s and stole seven bases in 18 games at the Major League level this year. With Stephen Drew on the disabled list, Difo gives the Nats another infield option off the bench. Plus, Baker could use Difo at either third base or shortstop if he wants to give Anthony Rendon or Danny Espinosa a day off down the stretch.

With Strasburg and Joe Ross working their way back, Giolito’s role going forward will be interesting to watch. But, adding these two players gives Baker more options down the stretch. Giolito should provide depth in either the rotation or the bullpen and Difo is the backup infielder that the team needs on the left side while they await the return of Drew.

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