May 16, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT
The Nationals have added Greg Dobbs, signed to a minor-league contract on Monday, to their big-league roster, adding a veteran pinch-hitting specialist to the club.
Sandy Leon, one of three catchers on the roster for the last week, was optioned to Class AAA Syracuse. Outfielder Eury Perez was placed on the 60-day DL to create room on the 40-man roster for Dobbs.
Dobbs, 35, spent the last four seasons with Miami, where he saw significant playing time and posted a .264 batting average with a .307 on-base percentage and .362 slugging percentage. Re-signed over the winter to a $1.7 million deal, he wound up serving only as a pinch-hitter for the Marlins this season, going just 1-for-13 with zero walks and four strikeouts.
The Marlins designated Dobbs (who previously has played both corner infield and outfield positions) for assignment on April 29, then released him last week, eating his salary in the process. The Nationals waited until he passed a physical before adding him to their big-league roster.
Given the surplus of injuries they’ve sustained to key lineup members — Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche all are currently on the disabled list — the Nationals have been forced to move bench players into everyday roles. That, in turn, has weakened their bench, which currently includes veterans Kevin Frandsen and Scott Hairston, rookie Zach Walters and catcher Jose Lobaton.
The decision to add Dobbs bolsters the Nationals’ bench and gives manager Matt Williams a left-handed bat who can play first base if needed while LaRoche is on the DL.
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