With the Nationals already working with a short bench and Danny Espinosa needing to sit at least two to three days (and possibly much more than that) with a broken bone in his right wrist, the Nats decided to add another position player to their 25-man roster.
Infielder Jeff Kobernus will have his contract selected from Triple-A before tomorrow’s game, manager Davey Johnson announced after tonight’s 5-2 win over the Phillies, and right-hander Yunesky Maya will be designated for assignment to clear a spot for Kobernus on the 40-man roster.
“We’re already one player short with four players on the bench (and) I like to have at least five,” Johnson said. “And with Espinosa down, we can’t go with three.”
Maya appeared in just one game with the Nats after being called up Tuesday. He allowed two runs and got the loss in the Nats’ 10-inning loss to the Giants Tuesday night.
The former Cuban defector was signed to a four-year, $6 million deal in July of 2010. He made his major league debut in September of that year, but struggled in five starts and failed to make the team out of spring in 2011. Maya made a couple different stints with the Nats that season, both as a starter and as a reliever, posting a 5.23 ERA in 10 appearances. He spent all of last season at Triple-A and
Overall, Maya appeared in 16 career games for the Nats, going 1-5 with a 5.80 ERA.
Maya will now be subject to waivers. Any of the other 29 teams will have a chance to claim him and what’s left on his contract.
Kobernus was batting .333 with a .378 on-base percentage in 43 games for Syracuse this season. This will be the 24-year-old’s first stint in the big leagues.
He’ll back up Steve Lombardozzi at second base for now, and could also see a little time in the outfield, if needed. Kobernus, a second-round pick of the Nats in 2009, has played 28 games in the outfield this season.