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Detwiler recalled, Balester DFA’d

Jul 5, 2011, 7:31 PM EDT

The Nationals formally recalled Ross Detwiler from Class AAA Syracuse, putting the left-hander in line to start tonight’s game against the Cubs.

The club’s corresponding move, however, came as a surprise: Reliever Collin Balester was designated for assignment, removing him from the organization’s 40-man roster at least temporarily.

Balester is in his final option year, so the Nationals could have sent him to Syracuse without risk of losing him. However, by designating him, the club clears a spot on the 40-man which could be used to add another player.

A Nationals official said the club expects Balester to remain in the organization, though, and should be back on the 40-man roster within two days.

UPDATE AT 4:43 P.M. — To clear up some confusion here (both yours and mine), this was a mostly procedural move. It turns out the Nationals can’t option Balester to Syracuse because more than three years have passed since he made his big-league debut. Though technically he’s been DFA’d, there’s no risk of the Nats losing him. He’ll remain in the organization.

  1. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    Cardinals there he goes!

  2. Mark'd - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    That is a twist I didn't see coming.

  3. Kevin Rusch, Section406 - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    That's a real surprise.

  4. NG - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    This is another very puzzling roster management move. If they needed a spot on the 40-man, Adam LaRoche could be moved to the 60-day DL. If they needed two spots, I can't imagine how you conclude it's better to DFA Balester than Garret Mock. Wasn't there some DFA move that the Nats did with Ryan Mattheus last year that allowed him to come off the 40-man, but also was structured so he couldn't be claimed by another team? Is it possible that's what's going on here?

  5. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    I was just thinking it has been a while since anybody was pattersoned.

  6. Don - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    This is interesting. I thought he had a spot locked after his performance Sunday and the Marquis meltdown.I hope we see him back after Detwiler is sent back down tomorrow.

  7. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Trade coming. I think they can always withdraw him if he's claimed and exercise his option. I suspect they just need his 40-man slot temporarily.

  8. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:57 PM

    Since he has this year as an option year, does this mean they plan to keep him in Syracuse, and he's not the long man/sixth starter Davey had in mind?

  9. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    I hope we see him back after Detwiler is sent back down tomorrow.Good point. But I suspect they keep Detwiler if he performs well enough tonight. He won't be added to the rotation and will work as that sixth starter, long relief, left handed specialist for now.I wonder if they plan on adding Milone to the 40-man roster? And then releasing someone to bring back Bally? There's always Severino but he is a left-handed reliever prospect. This could be a twist-turvy maneuver.

  10. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Or a trade–exactly.

  11. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:00 PM

    I'm with Anonymous 3:17. LaRussa will gobble Bally-Star up. He throws a legit 95. Admittedly control and command problems at times. But if Gascanrahan can be resurrected into a big league closer, I think Bally-Star can too.Kinda weird because the guy did eat up some innings in that laugher on Sunday.Another casualty of having Stares remain on the 25-man. Is there anybody here that believes Stares could earn a spot on any other big league club? I don't understand. I would have packaged Bally-Star and another 40-man (anybody want Ankiel? Please?) and maybe gotten a warm body. Heck, Miss Iowa signed a minor league deal with the Mets. I've seen worse take the mound for us.

  12. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    I think this is a sneaky way to bring Balestar back earlier than 10 days he'd have to wait.If someone tries to claim him, I believe they can just withdraw the DFA and wait the 10-days.

  13. masnstinks - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    I agree with some of the previous posters. Garrett Mock and Matt Stairs get a spot and Bally – who has basically done everything but walk across hot coals for this club,gets a dfa? They are making it sound like a technical move, but it still stinks. Also — there is no way LaRoche will play in the time it would take for him to be moved to the 60 day dl. Bally took one for the team.Phils did a similar thing to Vance Worley who pitched shut-out ball for them yesterday and then got sent back to AAA. let's see what we get from Ross D tonight. Hope the defense is on their toes.

  14. Canada's #1 Nats Fan - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    Goessling reports "But the Nationals are saying the move with Balester is more procedural than anything else, much like what they did with Matt Chico last season." He's not going anywhere.

  15. Original Nats Fan - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    from other sources, since Bally has 3 years of service he doesn't have to go through waivers and Nats expect him to be in Syracuse on Thursday. Looks like a move to free a 40 man spot

  16. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    Ummmm… where's Matt Chico been since then?

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    It is basically procedural. Balester takes about 24 hours to get passed through the waiver system, somebody puts in a claim, and the Nats withdraw him from the waiver wire. If no one claims him, they've freed up a spot for Milhone or someone else for the 40 man. In the meantime, Detwiler gets his start and returns to Syracuse tomorrow.

  18. JaneB - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    And we would be freeing up a 40 man spot because….why? Will we move up Peacock or one of the other babies some smart people think we should have immediate access to? If so, I don't get why you don't let go of control of Mock. Or Stairs,q even though he has been adding a little mpre publoc value.I like Original Nats Fan's explanation that it's an easy way to get Colli. Back faster than if they sent him down. So does that mean they aren't making room for anyone?

  19. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    It doesn't clear a spot on the 40-man because HE will take up a spot on the 40-man when he comes back.

  20. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Wow – a lot of freaking out going on. Detwiler is coming up for one start – only a spot start. He goes back to Syracuse tomorrow or the day after and Balester comes back – they rescind the DFA and don't option him, which saves them the ten day wait, so they don't have to bring up somebody ELSE to fill the bullpen slot for ten days. He never leaves the 40-man – I think they're being cute about the ten-day waiting period.

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    Not if he clears waivers and accepts his assignment to Syracuse. Then there is an open spot on the 40 man. Obviously, if he returns to the Nats then he will be back on the 40 man. But it does appear that they want another lefty for the bull pen so J.C. Romero is probably the option for the moment.

  22. SilverSpring8 - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    Get a grip, people. This is just waiver-wire maneuvering.

  23. MicheleS - Jul 5, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    NatsJack: Thanks for explaining. I don't get all the options/waver rules, and if Mark is saying it's prodedural, then Bally-Star isn't going anywhere.And I would really miss that cheezy Stache of his

  24. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 5, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Oh, he's no fun. He fell right over.

  25. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jul 5, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Roger Bernadina 7Danny Espinosa 4Ryan Zimmerman 5Laynce Nix 3Jayson Werth 9Rick Ankiel 8Wilson Ramos 2Ian Desmond 6Ross Detwiler 1

  26. Anonymous - Jul 5, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    @MicheleSI would too! Unfortunately for both of us, he shaved it off a while ago. Darn.

  27. Feel Wood - Jul 5, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    "Balester takes about 24 hours to get passed through the waiver system, somebody puts in a claim, and the Nats withdraw him from the waiver wire. If no one claims him, they've freed up a spot for Milhone or someone else for the 40 man."But if another team claims him and they withdraw him, then they're back where they started. He can't be moved to the minors if waivers are withdrawn. So yes, this is just procedural provided he clears waivers. But if he doesn't clear waivers, he'll be traded to the claiming team for whatever they can get back. The thing that makes it unlikely that he'll be claimed is that the claiming team would have to immediately put him on their 25 man roster, requiring a corresponding roster move on that team's part.

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