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Maxwell demoted

May 8, 2010, 2:44 AM EDT

Needing to clear space on the roster for Matt Chico, who will start tomorrow’s game against the Marlins, the Nationals optioned outfielder Justin Maxwell to Class AAA Syracuse.

Maxwell, who has spent the better part of the last two seasons bouncing back and forth between Syracuse and Washington, hit just .154 (4-for-26) with one homer and three RBI in 17 games. He did draw 11 walks, leading to a healthy .395 on-base percentage.

The Nationals, though, had been using Maxwell almost exclusively against left-handed pitchers, and they’re currently in a stretch in which they’ll face at least 12 right-handed starters in a row. Thus, Maxwell became expendable.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “Just imagine you have a job and you keep getting shipped around. That’s the only thing I compare it to. But I’m doing what I love. I know they like me, and I know what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to go play. I wasn’t getting the at-bats right now, so I’m going to go get the at-bats somewhere else.”

  1. Anonymous8 - May 8, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    I thought for sure they would have DFA'd Willy Taveras. I guess that comes when they bring Mike Morse back.

  2. NatsNut - May 8, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    I was totally wrong. Thought they'd send Gonzalez.

  3. Souldrummer - May 8, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    @AnonymousI'm with you. But I guess Rizzo's got input in these decisions and if they aren't going to get Maxwell at bats here they want to see him develop further in Syracuse. I'm not but so anxious to see Morse back, but I'd rather have him around as a pinch hitter with some upside than have to rely on Willy Taveras getting a big hit like when he pinch hit late last night.

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