5/21/2013 11:25 P.M. ET
Harper moves back to second spot in lineup
By Alex Espinoza / Special to MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Nationals lineup featured a bit of a different look Tuesday night as Bryce Harper was inserted as the team's No. 2 hitter for the first time all season. Barring one pinch-hit at-bat as the ninth-place hitter, Harper has been exclusively used as Washington's No. 3 hitter this year.
The second spot in the order might be new to Harper in 2013, but he batted there in 117 games as a rookie in 2012. Johnson said he got inspiration to change the lineup after talking to Harper and leadoff man Denard Span about the idea Monday. Harper and Ryan Zimmerman were already talking about changing the lineup to something more like the 2012 version of the order, and Johnson wasn't averse to the idea.
"I said, 'If you guys are good for it, I'm good for it,'" Johnson said.
Second baseman Danny Espinosa returned to the lineup as the No. 6 hitter after sitting out the past two contests in favor of Steve Lombardozzi. Espinosa was mired in a 1-for-30 slump and batting .163, which stood as the fourth-worst mark among qualified hitters entering play Tuesday.
"He's put in some good work with [batting coach] Rick Eckstein," Johnson said. "I like where he's at."
Nationals bring up pitchers Abad, Maya
SAN FRANCISCO -- Before Ryan Mattheus boarded a flight back to the nation's capital Tuesday, he ran into Nationals manager Davey Johnson at the team hotel.
"I had a few choice words for him," Johnson said.
The exchange came a day after the right-handed reliever revealed he had suffered a broken hand, just hours before the Monday night contest against the Giants. Mattheus broke his right hand Sunday afternoon in a fit of rage, as he punched his locker after giving up five runs in a 13-4 loss, but waited a day to tell his manager.
On Tuesday, the Nationals officially put Mattheus on the 15-day disabled list and sent outfielder Eury Perez down to Triple-A Syracuse, while lefty reliever Fernando Abad and righty Yunesky Maya were promoted. Mattheus will also see a Baltimore hand specialist to see if any pins will need to be inserted, and Johnson guessed it would take at least six to eight weeks for him to recover.
Abad was eating at a restaurant in Toledo, Ohio, on Monday night when he received a call from Syracuse manager Tony Beasley. Beasley had tried locating Maya, but he didn't answer his phone. So the skipper told Abad to relay the news that both of them were headed to the big leagues.
"So I called him and said, 'Maya, where are you? What are you doing? Why aren't you answering your phone?'" Abad said. "'They're trying to call you. We're going to The Show.' He said, 'No, no, you're lying.' I said, 'Yeah, it's true.'"
The short-staffed Nationals were forced to lean heavily on their bullpen Monday night, as Zach Duke made the spot start for Ross Detwiler, and Craig Stammen and Henry Rodriguez were forced to throw extended relief efforts. Johnson said Abad, who has a 1.06 ERA and a 12/2 strikeout/walk ratio in 17 appearances (17 innings pitched) this season, could make an immediate impact in the bullpen.
"Abad's in a position where he'll get opportunities to pitch," Johnson said.
Abad, 27, said he "feels more comfortable" knowing he is a reliever this year after the organization used him in a variety of roles in previous seasons. The 31-year-old Maya figures to be a long relief man for Washington after posting a 5.07 ERA in eight Triple-A starts and could be in the mix if Detwiler is unable to make his next start.
"I am very happy," Maya said. "Thanks to God and the team for giving me this opportunity to be here. I pray to God that everything will go well and that I'll be able to help out the team."
Boone, DiPuglia to represent Nationals at Draft
SAN FRANCISCO -- Major League Baseball announced that former All-Star Bob Boone and front-office executive Johnny DiPuglia will represent the Nationals at the upcoming 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
The Draft will take place June 6-8, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 6, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 73 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. Rounds 3-10 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 7, beginning with a preview show at 12:30 p.m., and Rounds 11-40 will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 8, starting at 1 p.m.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. You can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson and Boone were briefly teammates during the 1981-82 seasons in Philadelphia. Johnson represented the team at the 2010 Draft, when he announced the first overall pick, current right fielder Bryce Harper.
"That was my job," Johnson said. "Unfortunately he's going to have to wait  picks or something. I had the luxury of being the first one. All I had to do was spell the name right."
• Johnson said he is looking forward to being a National League assistant coach for the All-Star Game. He accepted the invitation extended by Giants skipper Bruce Bochy, who is sitting in the opposite dugout during this three-game series between their two teams.
"Boch and I go way back," Johnson said. "Maybe he can teach me a few things of how to gear up my offense. He's doing a heck of a job over here."
• Nationals southpaw Gio Gonzalez was happy to return to the Bay Area this week for the second time since he was traded by Oakland before the 2012 season. Gonzalez said he caught up with some A's fans near the clubhouse following Monday night's contest and that he's looking forward to Wednesday's matinee start in San Francisco.
"I love being back here," Gonzalez said. "There's a lot of A's fans here and even Giants fans that remember me. Always good memories that I used to have and they bring them back. I still get the same kind of love and support even though I'm in another uniform."
• Before Tuesday's contest, several Nationals players walked around the clubhouse with shirts featuring a picture of pitching coach Steve McCatty, who posed shirtless for a 1984 Playgirl magazine article. The gem was recently unearthed by baseballprospectus.com and was a hot topic of discussion in the clubhouse.
"I could have done without that revelation," Johnson said. "If you'd have asked me who that was, I could not have figured it out. In a hundred years I couldn't figure out who that was. There's been a big change in the last, what is it, 30 years? I was hoping it was more like 50. I didn't know he had that good a body and didn't know he had that much hair."
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.