8/7/2014 1:00 P.M. ET
Souza shows flashes in brief action for Nats
By Daniel Popper / MLB.com
WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Steven Souza, who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Monday to replace the injured Nate McLouth (right shoulder inflammation), saw his first action in the field Wednesday night when he entered for right fielder Jayson Werth in the seventh inning. Werth has been dealing with shoulder and neck tightness for the past week, and manager Matt Williams said he made the move to avoid any risk of further injury.
Souza got one at-bat in the seventh inning, the second plate appearance of his most recent stint in the Majors. He flied out to center, but he nearly hit his first big league home run earlier in the at-bat when he turned on a 1-1 fastball from Mets reliever Buddy Carlyle. The long drive sailed just foul and landed about 15 rows into the blue seats in left field.
Souza also made a smooth defensive play in the top of the ninth inning. With one out, Chris Young connected on a short blooper to right. Souza charged, called off second baseman Danny Espinosa and made the sliding catch.
"He's playing really well. He has been all season," Williams said. "Just a missed a homer, but he had a good at-bat and fouled the first one off, pulled the second one and actually just missed the third one, too. So it's good to see."
On Thursday, Baseball America tabbed Souza -- the Nationals' No. 5 prospect, according to MLB.com -- as the best power prospect, best baserunner and best outfield arm in the Triple-A International League. In 91 games for Syracuse before joining the Nats earlier this week, Souza hit .354 with 18 home runs, 70 RBIs and 24 stolen bases.
Ramos activated from paternity list; Leon optioned
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals activated Wilson Ramos from the three-day paternity list on Thursday and optioned Sandy Leon to Triple-A Syracuse. Ramos was available off the bench for the team's matinee series finale against the Mets.
The catcher had been on paternity leave since Tuesday, when his wife, Yeli, gave birth to a baby girl in Washington.
During Thursday's pregame news conference, manager Matt Williams said he was hopeful Ramos could make it in time to start in the rubber match at Nationals Park, which explained the skipper's long delay in releasing the lineup.
At the time, Williams said Ramos was waiting at the hospital for doctors to discharge Yeli and the couple's first child. However, it didn't happen in time, and backup Jose Lobaton got the start behind the dish.
Ramos will be on the team flight to Atlanta on Thursday night, and he will be available for the weekend series against the Braves.
• Werth was back in the starting lineup against the Mets on Thursday after he was pulled on Wednesday because of shoulder and neck tightness.
• Baseball America named Michael Taylor -- the Nationals' No. 3 prospect, according to MLB.com -- as the best batting prospect, fastest baserunner, best defensive outfielder and most exciting player in the Double-A Eastern League. Taylor was promoted from Harrisburg to Triple-A Syracuse on Monday.