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Atilano recalled, Maxwell optioned

Jul 20, 2010, 3:20 AM EDT

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.

  1. N. Cognito - Jul 20, 2010 at 3:25 AM

    Unfortunately for Justin, God's plan does not include giving Justin the ability to hit major league pitching.

  2. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 20, 2010 at 3:30 AM

    I had hoped God's plan was to DFA Kennedy.

  3. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2010 at 3:32 AM

    Maybe God's plan is to bundle J-Max as trade fodder with a real major leaguer? Let's hope …

  4. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:02 AM

    Maxwell is a great player. How can you expect him to hit well when only getting an at-bat here n there or a start every couple days while being sent up and down every couple weeks. Doesn't work that way my friends. Obviously none of you play baseball. It's a game that requires rhythm and if its constantly disrupted it's hard to succeed. His best stints in the bigs are in September bc there's stability and consist play. Goodluck jmax!

  5. Dave Nichols - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:16 AM

    By all means, let's keep Willie Harris on the team. What it really needs is three left-handed slap-hitting outfielders.

  6. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:24 AM

    @anonymous 11:32.Hmmm, so please explain Mike Morse? He has received far fewer chances to start and succeed with this club. He has overwhelming outhit Maxwell in the minor leagues and blow him away in the majors? They are close to the same age? Maxwell is NOT a good major league baseball player by any realistic standards. He is at most a utility guy like Willie Harris and at worst a permanent minor leaguer …. AAAA

  7. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:26 AM

    By all means, let's keep Willie Harris on the team. What it really needs is three left-handed slap-hitting outfielders.Yes, and let's keep Harris, Guzman, Kennedy, and not play anyone else. Eventually, the team will snap out its "slump" and be 20 games under .500.

  8. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2010 at 4:46 AM

    1. Mike Morse has stability. No options. Maxwell has options so nothing is stable2. This year Morse has 72abs Maxwell 38abs3. Morse has a total of 124 abs with the Nats over a 2 year span. Maxwell has 153 abs over a 3 year span so your a little over stated when saying morse has had far fewer chances.4. Morse is a great player n should start at 1stWhile we give jmax a chance to start in center as an everyday player.

  9. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2010 at 5:17 AM

    As far as Morse blowing out maxwell in the stats department… It's maxwells 153 major league abs to morses 424 major league abs… Hard to compare with such a big difference. And the minors do show some difference in stats however Maxwell is a year younger than Morse and he missed almost all of 2008 putting him about 2 seasons behind Morse in the minors. Again Morse is great and I think jmax would be great for us if given the opportunity to play everyday.

  10. Anonymous - Jul 20, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Mark, you wrote, "Amazingly, Maxwell has been optioned out the same number of times he's recorded a hit this season: four."I think a better phrase would be, "Amazingly, Maxwell is still in the organization given he's recorded only four hits this season and 22 hits last season."Since we are on the topic of minor league transactions, who is the closestr thing in the minors to a major league tready OF? Do we have any?

  11. Sam - Jul 20, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    I still don't think it's fair for Maxwell, but I do agree that this was the right business move. On the other hand, I think it would be wise to give Maxwell an opportunity because he really hasn't had any yet. And since Morgan is pretty much useless, what harm is there in giving Maxwell some PAs?

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