08/31/2008 1:36 PM ET
Nationals expected to add six to roster for September
Bernadina, Casto, Gonzalez, Hinckley, Martis and Speigner to join club
The Washington Nationals tomorrow are expected to recall outfielder Roger Bernadina and first baseman/outfielder Kory Casto from Columbus of the Triple-A International League, and recall from rehab and reinstate shortstop Alberto Gonzalez from the 15-Day Disabled List. The Nationals are also expected to select the contracts of left-handed pitcher Mike Hinckley, right-handed pitcher Shairon Martis and right-handed pitcher Levale Speigner from Columbus. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.
Bernadina, 24, joins the Nationals for a second stint this season. Bernadina entered play on Sunday leading all Nationals full-season minor leaguers in batting (.334), hits (151) and runs (78). In addition to his stellar batting average, Bernadina has combined on 23 doubles, nine triples, nine home runs, 54 RBI and a .400 on-base percentage this season for Columbus and Double-A Harrisburg. Bernadina, who reached base safely over 200 times in 119 minor-league contests this year, hit .349 in 46 Triple-A contests after beginning the season in Double-A, where he batted .323 in 73 games.
Casto, 26, has enjoyed a pair of stints with the Nationals this season and proved to be a steady bat off Manny Acta's bench, going 5-for-18 (.278) with two doubles, a homer and five RBI in a pinch-hitting role. His six pinch hits are tied for second among Nationals behind only Aaron Boone. Casto is a two-time Nationals Minor League Player of the Year (2005, '06). In 32 games with Columbus this season, Casto has batted .310 with five home runs, 24 RBI and a .400 on-base percentage.
The 25 year-old Gonzalez returns from a nearly month-long stint on the Disabled List, where he was placed on August 14 (retroactive to August 5) with a left hamstring strain. Gonzalez, 25, is a plus defensive shortstop who last season was rated as the top defensive infielder in the Yankees' minor-league system. Acquired from New York (AL) on July 31, Gonzalez hit .462 (6-for-13) in four games with the Nationals in early August.
Hinckley, 25, joins the Nationals after posting a 3.16 ERA in 20 International League relief appearances with Columbus. Hinckley, who began the season with Harrisburg, was bestowed the honor of throwing the first pitch in the history of the Washington Nationals in the club's inaugural Spring Training contest on March 2, 2005 vs. New York (NL). He had entered that season rated as the Nationals' No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America.
Martis, 21, combined to go 5-6 with a 3.64 ERA in 21 starts this season for Columbus and Harrisburg. Martis' 3.64 ERA this season ranks fourth among Nationals minor-league pitchers throwing at least 100 innings in 2008. Acquired from San Francisco in exchange for Mike Stanton on July 28, 2006, Martis pitched in MLB's Futures Game, which was played on July 13 at Yankee Stadium as part of All-Star Weekend. Less than a month later, he pitched in the Olympics for the Netherlands. He also pitched for the Netherlands in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, and tossed a 7.0-inning no-hitter in his lone start of the tournament.
The 27 year-old Speigner earned a September promotion by going 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA in 35 games (one start) this season for Columbus (25 games/one start) and Harrisburg (10 games). Washington's second selection in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft, Speigner combined on a .208 batting average against and a 3.1 strikeout-to-walk ratio for the Nationals' two highest affiliates this season. Speigner returns to the Nationals for a second consecutive season, as last year, he went 2-3 in 19 games (six starts) for Washington.