The Washington Nationals selected the contract of outfielder/infielder Ryan Raburn from Triple-A Syracuse on Monday and placed outfielder Jayson Werth on the 10-day disabled list with a left foot contusion, retroactive to June 4. Additionally, right-handed pitcher Rafael Martin was designated for assignment. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.
Raburn, 36, joins the Nationals for his first Major League assignment of the season. The veteran utility man, who has spent parts of 11 seasons in the Major Leagues, was acquired by Washington in a Minor League trade with the Chicago White Sox on May 26. He is hitting .274 this year in the Triple-A International League, with four doubles, one triple, four home runs, 18 RBI, 20 walks and 14 runs scored.
Since being activated by the Syracuse Chiefs on May 27, Raburn has hit .261 with a home run and five RBI in six games.
With more than nine years of Major League service time accrued, Raburn is a career .253 hitter with 146 doubles, 11 triples, and 91 home runs in 922 big league games. Excluding catcher but including pitcher, Raburn has played eight of the nine defensive positions on the diamond over the course of his career. In 2016, with the Colorado Rockies, Raburn played primarily in left field.
He has been particularly tough on left-handed pitching, posting a .487 slugging percentage against southpaws in his career, and they account for 54 of his 91 career home runs.
A veteran of two Postseasons (Detroit, 2011; Cleveland, 2013), the Nationals are the fourth team for which Raburn has been a member of their Major League club.
Werth, 38, heads to the disabled list for the first time since 2015 (left wrist contusion). The Nationals’ left fielder is off to a strong start to the 2017 season, hitting .262 with a .367 on-base percentage and .447 slugging percentage in 47 games this season. He has clubbed five doubles, one triple, and eight home runs while walking 27 times, driving in 18 runs and scoring 28.
Martin, 33, was 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 21 career Major League games out of the bullpen with the Nationals. In 290 Minor League games in the Nationals’ system, Martin collected 62 saves with a 22-17 record and a 3.28 ERA.