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Williams talks Sept. call-ups, Schierholtz

Aug 22, 2014, 5:41 PM EDT

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Nationals outfielder Nate McLouth had successful surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder on Thursday, effectively ending his 2014 season. Now, with five weeks left to go, the Nationals will look to fill the position he was expected to hold down with the playoffs in mind.

Veteran Nate Schierholtz – who was signed to a minor league deal on Aug. 18 – is playing at Triple-A Syracuse currently. The 30-year-old has had 10 plate appearances through two games with the Chiefs, posting three hits and four RBI, including a home run.

“He’s getting his timing back after not having played in some time,” manager Matt Williams said.

“He played right, he DH’d and played center. He’s getting some at-bats and working his way back to feeling good at the plate. He needs those at-bats, really. He just hasn’t played in a while. So, like anybody else coming back from injury or any of that, they need to have at-bats.”

Schierholtz could provide a veteran option instead of rookies Steven Souza, Jr. and Michael A. Taylor, who are also technically vying for the same spot. There could be one open position on the Nationals bench come October and Schierholtz has an advantage in both experience and the fact he bats left-handed.

Williams is hopeful the Nats can evaluate him soon and get him to Washington the moment he’s ready. When that will be, however, is unclear.

MLB rosters expand on Sept. 1 and the Nationals could wait until then.

“We can also wait,” Williams said. “When that is, we don’t know. We want him ready when he’s ready and be able to be up here and be productive. We don’t want to rush him in that regard. There’s no need to do that at this point. We want to make sure his timing is good and he’s ready to play when he gets here.”

On the topic of September call-ups, Williams said the Nationals are discussing who will come up, but nothing has been decided yet. Williams does not believe the team’s first place record will have any effect on who or how many they bring up.

“The first place standing doesn’t mean anything. We want to make sure we have the players here that can help us win games in every form and fashion,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter standings-wise where we’re at. We want to win. If they can help us win in that regard then that’s great.”

One factor that could come into play is Syracuse’s own playoff run. The Chiefs are in first place in the International League at 75-55, also 20 games above .500 just like their major league partners.

“We’ve had those discussions, but no final decisions on anything yet. The guys in Triple-A have a chance to be in the playoffs and play beyond. We’ll see how it all shakes out.”

  1. lphboston - Aug 22, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    Doesn’t matter who wins the JV game.
    If you need a player with the big club, move him up.

  2. laddieblahblah - Aug 23, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    Souza began his rehab at Hagerstown last night – 1 for 2 with a stolen base. Expected to be at Potomac next. They should have Shierholtz from the left side, and Souza from the right side, off the bench come Sep. 1st, at the latest.

  3. natfan33 - Aug 23, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    I believe Souza is the X-Factor. Get him right and he will be a big contributor.

  4. langleyclub - Aug 23, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Realize that this is not going to happen as the everyone appears to think that Nate Sheirholtz is the answer (despite being god-awful for the last 2 months) to fill the Nats’ need for a left-handed bat off the bench, but if the Nats are going to add a left-handed bat to the roster for September. It should be Syracuse utility player Emmanuel Burris. Before that thought is summarily dismissed consider that he is a switch-hitter that has been great against righties this year .323 AVG .857 OPS; unlike Nate Scheirholtz, Burris has been red-hot of late hitting .351 (.935 OPS) in July and .356 (.951 OPS) in August. Burris can run, and play multiple positions IF and OF. By any objective measure, he is the better option for the Nats right now.

    The affection for Scheirholtz who was awful for the Cubs (and particularly bad over the last 2 months), and has done little in his short stint in Cuse, is driving me bonkers. Would think that you need to earn your spot on the NLs best roster, and hitting .100 over the last 2 months does not cut it. Yes, Schieholtz was a decent player last year. That was… last year, not this year.

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