CHICAGO -- The Nationals optioned rookie left-hander Jesse English to Class AAA Syracuse following tonight's win, clearing roster space for outfielder Roger Bernadina, who will be recalled before tomorrow's series finale at Wrigley Field.
English performed well in the first seven games of his big-league career, posting a 3.86 ERA and faring well against some tough left-handed sluggers like the Phillies' Ryan Howard.
But the Nats needed to add another position player to account for nagging injuries to Ryan Zimmerman, Willie Harris and Ivan Rodriguez. And with off-days coming up Thursday and Monday, the club can afford to go with a six-man bullpen for a little while.
"This isn't a demotion," general manager Mike Rizzo said of English, who had never pitched above Class AA before making the Opening Day roster. "This is a strategic roster move, because we feel we need to get a healthy position player in here. It wasn't for anything that he did poorly. He pitched fine."