Aug 9, 2014, 7:43 PM EDT
Updated at 3:12 a.m.
ATLANTA — Desperate for healthy outfielders, the Nationals are expected to promote top prospect Michael Taylor and have the dynamic 23-year-old in uniform for Sunday night’s series finale against the Braves.
Taylor was a late scratch from Class AAA Syracuse’s lineup Saturday evening and was due to depart for Atlanta, where he will join the Nationals and potentially make his major-league debut, according to a source familiar with the decision.
It’s unclear who Taylor would replace on the big-league roster. Both Jayson Werth (shoulder/ankle) and Steven Souza Jr. (shoulder) are battling injuries that left both outfielder unavailable to start Saturday night’s game, though both wound up appearing in the 11th inning of the Nationals’ 4-1 victory. Werth drew a pinch-hit walk but was unable to run the bases. Souza, who was unable to hit, pinch-ran for Werth.
Taylor’s call-up comes less than a week after he was promoted to Class AAA from Class AA Harrisburg, where he hit .313 with 22 homers, 34 stolen bases and a .935 OPS in 98 games. He appeared in only four games with Syracuse, going 5-for-13 with four extra-base hits.
The 6-foot-3, lanky outfielder entered the season rated the Nationals’ seventh-best prospect, according to Baseball America but has climbed up the organizational depth chart with his breakthrough year. Taylor is regarded as an elite defensive center fielder, but with Denard Span hitting .304 and having reached base in 34 consecutive games, he’s likely to be used throughout the outfield with Washington.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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