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Flores getting recalled

Apr 12, 2011, 5:10 PM EDT

The Nationals are recalling Jesus Flores from Class AAA Syracuse to take Ryan Zimmerman's roster spot, a surprising move that will give Washington three catchers but does add a right-handed bat to manager Jim Riggleman's bench.

Flores was informed of his promotion after Syracuse's game Monday night at Lehigh Valley, a source familiar with the move confirmed. He'll be in uniform at Nationals Park for Tuesday night's series opener against the Phillies, his first big-league appearance since 2009.

With Zimmerman headed to the 15-day disabled list with a strained abdominal muscle and likely to be replaced at third base by Alex Cora and Jerry Hairston, the Nationals needed to add another right-handed bat to their bench. Infielder Brian Bixler was a possibility, but he's not on the club's 40-man roster and could only be added if someone else was designated for assignment or released.

Roger Bernadina, who is on the 40-man roster, also would have been a likely choice, but the outfielder missed Syracuse's first five games while tending to a family matter. He has rejoined the Chiefs, though,Read more ยป

  1. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    I don't really get this move at all.

  2. NatsNut - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    This is surprising but pretty cool. I love this guy and it makes me happy to see him up again.

  3. Doc - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    One of these catchers, or all three of them, should take on some extra reps at 1B.

  4. Canada's #1 Nats Fan - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    I'm really interested to hear the rationale for calling up Flores to replace Zimmerman on the roster. It makes no sense at all. He clearly isn't going to catch while he's here. So he's going to be strictly a pinch hitter when he should be playing everyday at AAA.

  5. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    Would it not make more sense to bring up Bernadina, let Morse play third and have Bernadina and Nix play left. If Morse could play shortstop for much of his career, he should be able to handle third for a few weeks. Flores because he is a right-handed bat??? This is like a Miss Marple whodunit where motive is so hard to understand.

  6. Sec314 - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    I'm with Anon. 1:21 on this… except my guess is that Morse will end up having to play first base when LaRoche goes down.

  7. Fred - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    What I don't understand is how so many starting players can BEGIN the season injured! If Spring Training is that hazardous to their health, I recommend that Spring Training games be eliminated and that Spring Training just be a time to "throw and catch" with little bat swinging thrown in!

  8. Tim - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    The only thing I can think of is that Flores can play 1B and has done so in the past. If LaRoche is out, that could allow Morse to move to 3B. Morse got a few reps there during the Spring and that would free Nix to play LF vs. righties. Hairston or Cora at 3B and Morse in LF vs. righties. We do have a lot of flexibility with our lineups, although the defense will suffer.As I said yesterday, I would've rather seen Ballester called up. We need another reliever more than anything else.I'm interested to see what the lineup is tonight vs. lefty Blanton. I think it'll get rained out anyway.

  9. Bowdenball - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    NatsNut, while I agree with you, I wonder if maybe the organization's thought process as to who to bring up was similar to yours.

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    Would somebody please tell me when Jesus Flores has EVER played first? I don't recall seeing him posted at 1st base during winter ball and I can vouch that he did nothing but catch during his Fall Instructional League stint.As for calling him up, I've never been keen on only carrying 2 catchers so I'm fine with it.And when did Joe Blanton start throwing left handed? I've always seen him throw right. What am I missing?

  11. Tcostant - Apr 12, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    I don't think we'll see Flores play much at all, just a lot more pitch-hitting from I-Rod or Ramos, whichever one is not starting that day. I really don't like the move at all, if Flores was hitting .350 then okay, but this guy needs time and at bats. Much rather have had Bernadina added. Such is life.

  12. MGG - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    I'm with a lot of people when I say "What are the Nationals doing?" Flores? Why? We have Bernadina who needs to be up here, we have a few AAA's that I would rather see. I just don't get it, let Flores rehab in Syracuse for a while before having him come back up. Another thought though, maybe they are trying to showcase him for a trade? Probably not but a thought.

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    MGG…. I don't know… The Red Sox are pretty desperate.

  14. JD - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    Why is everyone so perplexed? They need a right hand bat and Bixler is not on the 40 man roster that's it. I don't think there's any hidden meaning here. BTW; how does 2 for 13 mean anything at all? it's not really meaningful to look at batting averages until a player has 100 at bats.

  15. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    Does this mean more I-Rod at first? I thought Houston was looking for a catcher (and they look awful). Or does it just mean that they think Zim will be back at the end of the days (which would be why they didn't bring up Bixler).

  16. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    If I didn't like Flores so much I would agree with mostly everyone on this board. He has played 1st base before, and he was, emphasis on was, a clutch hitter before he went down two years ago, so I'm happy he's up here. We'll have to see how this plays out, won't we?UNTERP

  17. JD - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:20 PM

    Bernadina bats left handed and has not played a game in 2 weeks; that's why he wasn't called up and as NatsJack has pointed out having 3 catchers gives you a lot of flexibility; you never want to use your last catcher to pinch hit in case of injury but with 3 you can do that and you can also pinch run.

  18. Sec 3, My Sofa - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Can we please stop it with the Bixler already?? He is not on the roster.

  19. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    After listening to Rizzo on the MASN broadcast the other day I was under the impression that Pudge wasn't officially the backup yet. Only a matter of time though.

  20. fpcsteve - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    When LaRoche goes down? He has by all accounts a chronic injury that will allow him to play this season with occasional days off and medication. A. Gonzalez reportedly played the entire season for the Padres last year with the same injury. When I was new to coaching, a wise old coach once told me to make the fewest changes possible when you lose a player to injury. Keep everyone else where they are used to playing. So keep Morse in LF, Bernandina in Syracuse, and let Hariston and Cora play 3b. Injuries are the reason for having a bench.

  21. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    A wet April would serve us well. Fewer games while RZ recovers.

  22. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    fpcsteve said… you are a sage…UNTERP

  23. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    If you remember in 2009 Flores was rehabbing in AAA and was not hitting. When they brought him back, he tore it up. Some players just do not hit in the minors, they need to see consistently good pitching. Now, how they will fit him in…

  24. Tedv15 2 - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Maybe it is a showcase?

  25. Feel Wood - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    "If I didn't like Flores so much I would agree with mostly everyone on this board. He has played 1st base before"When? I see no games at first base in his MLB career, and only one game at first for AAA Columbus in 2008 – where he apparently had zero fielding chances. (No putouts, no assists, no errors.) So technically I guess he has played first base before, but in reality, no.

  26. A DC Wonk - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    No biggie. They needed a RH bat, a guy who had options, on the 40-man, and Bernadina wasn't ready, and having a 3rd catcher is always nice. Makes sense to me.

  27. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 12, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    Feel Wood…. Thank You.

  28. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    How many options does Bernie have? They may not be able to send him back down without clearing waivers if he's out of options.

  29. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    Feel Wood said… When? I see no games at first base in his MLB career, and only one game at first for AAA Okay, you're right. So what? He played during spring training. My point is that he can play some first base whether he plays or not. This isn't rocket science. Also, I really don't care what anyone else thinks on this. Most don't realize how clutch Flores is. This is only my opinion, he's the most clutch hitter in their organization, or was, but injuries and sharing time with Schneider in 2007, hasn't given him the chance I think he deserves. But I am really bias, because he's my favorite player…It's also not how high an average you hit like Ramos, but when you hit. And I can say that about anybody. I really don't follow the stats like so many do, especially in baseball, I just have memory for when certain players do something when others don't. Flores has a knack for hitting with players in scoring position (when he was healthy and playing). Can't really say that about any other National and that includes Zimmerman, and I'm not saying that Zimmerman never does. I'm saying that over the time I have watched Flores he has been more clutch than anyone else, just hasn't played long enough to impress anyone other than myself…UNTERP

  30. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    Does anyone find "Flores Getting Recalled" awkward? Would it not be better as "Flores To Be Recalled?" Or how about just, "Flores Recalled."

  31. StBernadusABT12 - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    Cutter Dykstra!!!!**smile**

  32. natsfan1a - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    "Recalled to Life" might be appropriate given his injury comeback.

  33. Peyton Dowdy - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    I think some people aren't understanding how options work. You use 1 option per season and can be moved up and down relatively freely for the entire season. You don't burn an option every time you go up and down.I think this move makes enough sense. If you call up Bernadina, when Hairston plays third you have no RHed bats on the bench at all other than a catcher. That would be dumb. Not to mention Bernie just reported to Syracuse today.With Bixler, he is an error machine and isn't on the 4o man roster. No point to cut someone to bring him up.I would have liked to have seen them use Marrero but I'm not going to argue with Flores being the choice.

  34. Diz - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    I think Flores allows Rigs to PH Ramos when Pudge starts and vice-versa. That'll reflect zero starts for Flores while he's here and very few PH opportunities in my opinion.Diz

  35. masnstinks - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    I pray to the baseball Gods for: healthy pitchers, Morse and Werth's bats to wake up, and lots of RAIN in the next 2 weeks. By the way — those of you who are stewing about the dings and minor injuries – look around mlb – lots of similar things – and some things that are much worse. Several teams are actually getting people back that started the season on the dl.

  36. The Michael - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    A non Flores question… Has anyone ever brought food into the stadium? If so, what is the policy on that? Can I pack a soft cooler?

  37. that guy - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Surprised no one has mentioned that Jesus' career will arise once again all the way through to Easter.

  38. DFL - Apr 12, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Michael, the way I play it is to down three beers on the ride to the stadium, drink nothing at the park, and have three more on the way home.

  39. Tcostant - Apr 12, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    The Michael said… A non Flores question… Has anyone ever brought food into the stadium? If so, what is the policy on that? Can I pack a soft cooler? I don't know about the soft cooler, but we have bought food in. You can bring in any food and water (no other liquid allowed).

  40. masnstinks - Apr 12, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    We have always brought food into the stadium – it's drinks that are an issue. Bottled water – only UNOPENED – buy it from the guy on the corner for a buck. I carry a pretty small soft cooler – they barely peek inside. Like I said – they only freak out over drinks.

  41. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 12, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    So Josh Hamilton leaves the game with a right shoulder injury due to TWO head first slides withing 2 minutes of each other.Neither one looked out of the ordinary but I sure miss old fashion hook slides.

  42. Knoxville Nat - Apr 12, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    I'm with you NatsJack….feet first on those slides and middle infielders especially will get the heck out of your way.

  43. Wally - Apr 12, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Changing topics – very cool article on advancements in pitch tracking and identificationhttp://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/tom_verducci/04/12/fastballs.trackman/index.html?eref=sihp

  44. Section 222 - Apr 12, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    I don't understand all the angst. This seems like a sensible decision. It's really not a good thing to have not a single RH bat on the bench other than the insurance catcher. This business of having Pudge move to first to allow Ramos to pinch hit is not a tenable long term solution to that problem. Now, in games that Ramos starts, Flores can pinch hit and Pudge can be the insurance catcher. When Pudge starts, Ramos can PH and Flores can be the insurance. And maybe Flores gets a start or two over the next few weeks to keep his catching skills fresh. Bringing up Bixler would only make sense if you think he's a much better PH than Flores, enough to justify DFAing someone to make a spot on the 40-man roster. I don't think that's the case. If it were, he would probably already be on the team.I like the fact that Rizzo made this move for the good of the team, even though he'd rather give Flores more regular at bats and catching experience in Syracuse. I doubt this move had anything to do with who might be able to play 1B if LaRoche goes on the DL. If that happens, a different calculation will have to be made.

  45. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 12, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Section 222….. and another well thought, reasonable approach.

  46. sjm308 - Apr 12, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    I also like this move. Pudge played a little first the other night and having 3 catchers is always good. To the poster that asked about Bernadina and options. They used an option this year and can now bring him up and send him down the entire year on that option, its one per year. I am not suggesting they do that but that is not the reason they did not bring him up right now. He has not played plus he is another left handed bat. I hope Flores get an opportunity to do more then pinch hit and I don't think this is showcasing but I am not in the FO meetings like some of the other posters.So just relax people. We are still not a great team but we are better than last year and I think 75 wins is definitely still doable.Go Nats!!

  47. Scooter - Apr 12, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Great stuff, Wally; thanks.

  48. JD - Apr 12, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Section 222, On the money. If LaRoche is DL'd I think Bernadina comes up and Morse moves to 1st. What do you think of the upcoming pitching moves? Rodriguez has to come up and I think Ramirez does too although I don't think he's off the DL yet. I also think that people are too harsh on Broderick based on a couple of bad outings; I think he should used anytime there is a low leverage situation.

  49. DFL - Apr 12, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    First and Third Basemen get hurt so what does King Rizzo do?- call up a third string catcher. This ugly season is unraveling fast. 70 wins tops. Fire Riggleman, fire Rizzo!!!

  50. Anonymous - Apr 12, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    I love it when spectators claim to know more about a game and a team than the guys who spend every day all day with the team and with each other and have been doing it for most of their lives. Kasten is one of the most knowledgeable people in the game, and when he said he was leaving the team in good hands, I believed him. I still do.

  51. Anonymous8 - Apr 13, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Section 222 said… I don't understand all the angst. This seems like a sensible decision. It's really not a good thing to have not a single RH bat on the bench other than the insurance catcher. This business of having Pudge move to first to allow Ramos to pinch hit is not a tenable long term solution to that problem. Now, in games that Ramos starts, Flores can pinch hit and Pudge can be the insurance catcher. When Pudge starts, Ramos can PH and Flores can be the insurance. And maybe Flores gets a start or two over the next few weeks to keep his catching skills fresh. Bringing up Bixler would only make sense if you think he's a much better PH than Flores, enough to justify DFAing someone to make a spot on the 40-man roster. I don't think that's the case. If it were, he would probably already be on the team.I like the fact that Rizzo made this move for the good of the team, even though he'd rather give Flores more regular at bats and catching experience in Syracuse. I doubt this move had anything to do with who might be able to play 1B if LaRoche goes on the DL. If that happens, a different calculation will have to be made. April 12, 2011 4:21 PM I think you came up with the exact reason Rizzo made the decision. It is a selfish decision for the MLB club, but that is what winning teams do. You make short term decisions sometimes to win. That is why I liked the suggestion by a few here to put Detwiler in the 'pen. He would be a stopper that Riggles could go to. You can see that Riggles doesn't trust Coffey and has no faith in Broderick and with Gaudin as your long guy and Slaten as a 1 or 2 batter LH specialist it is putting the burden on Storen, Clip and Burnett.

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