CINCINNATI -- The Nationals recalled right-hander Luis Atilano from Class AAA following tonight's game and optioned outfielder Justin Maxwell back to Syracuse, a roster move that had been expected for more than a week.
Atilano will start tomorrow night's game against the Reds after a brief demotion during the All-Star break. The rookie hurler struggled in his lone start for Syracuse, giving up five runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. Team officials, though, treated that outing as nothing more than a way to keep Atilano's arm fresh over the All-Star break and planned to recall him no matter the result.
Maxwell, who has now made three separate stints on the Nats' roster this season and been optioned out four times, appeared in only three games during this abbreviated stay. He started once, pinch-hit once and pinch-ran once, going 0-for-5 with a walk and a run scored.
"I want to play every day, and considering I'm the only guy on the team with options and I'm not a left-handed batter, I'm the odd man out," Maxwell said. "But I know God has a plan for me, and it's all going to work itself out."
Amazingly, Maxwell has been optioned out the same number of times he's recorded a hit this season: four.