Archie Gilbert has landed on the disabled list with a sore right hand, pausing momentarily what has been a very consistent season at the plate for the talented Double-A Harrisburg Senators outfielder.
Infielder Sean Nicol has been promoted from Single-A Hagerstown to Harrisburg and veteran pitcher Matt Chico has been released.
Gilbert has been in the Red Sox, White Sox and Athletics organizations in recent campaigns. He signed as free agent with the Nationals after playing for Double-A Midland the past two seasons. In his first year on the organization, his power numbers are up, already matching his home run total from last season (11).
He performance this season grew accolades with his invitation to his third career All-Star team. He played left field in the Eastern League All-Star game July 13, going 1-for-2 with a single.
With the Senators, Gilbert has continued to maintain a very consistent season, batting .298 in in 82 games this season, after batting .247 last season in the Texas league.
He has also contributed 13 doubles, 36 RBIs and 21 stolen bases, but Gilbert didn't feels his best to begin the season.
"I started off slow, but ever since then I feel like I have been pretty consistent," said the just turned 28-year-old Gilbert. "I am just trying to have fun out there and enjoy the time of me being out there."
Opposing pitchers know all about Gilbert because when he gets on, he usually finds a way to second base quickly, successfully stealing 21 of 25 attempts this season. Gilbert said that was something manager Tony Beasley and the staff worked with them on since the beginning of camp.
"He likes us to be aggressive but smart," Gilbert said. "There have been a few times where we ran ourselves out of innings but at the same time we love to be aggressive. We worked on that during spring training and we transferred that over to the season."
Gilbert said being on a team that has been in first place for most of the season makes everybody work even harder to find a way to keep it going and seek out the Eastern League title.
"When you win you are going to be confident," Gilbert said. "Everybody is hitting, pretty much, and hitting is contagious. I see Tyler Moore hit a bomb, so everybody else kind of (wants) to fall in together. It is fun team to play on."
But even though the team is in first place, Gilbert said they can still get better and really haven't played what he feels is their best baseball yet.
"The funny thing about it is the first half we weren't playing the kind of ball that we could be playing," Gilbert said. "This half, I am starting to see us playing the ball that we can play. I think the second half we are going to do really well."