Nats option Krol to make room for Ohlendorf

CHICAGO - Needing to clear a roster spot for right-hander Ross Ohlendorf, who will come off the disabled list and start tomorrow, the Nationals have optioned left-handed reliever Ian Krol to Triple-A Syracuse.

Krol got off to a tremendous start with the Nats after his promotion from Double-A Harrisburg in early June, throwing 9 2/3 scoreless innings to start his big league career, with 12 strikeouts and one walk in that span.

The 22-year-old has had a much tougher time of late, however, posting a 6.43 ERA over his last eight appearances, with three home runs allowed and a 1.160 OPS against in that span.

Krol won't be down in the minors for long, however. The Nats plan to bring him back when rosters expand at the beginning of September.

"He's got a great future," manager Davey Johnson said. "He's gonna be back in (11) days with the expanded rosters. I hate to miss him, because he's still learning up here, but he's got a heck of a future."

The Nationals had originally intended to release Roger Bernadina to make room for Ohlendorf, who is coming back from right shoulder inflammation, but they sent Bernadina out yesterday when they acquired outfielder David DeJesus in a trade with the Cubs.

That move complicated things a bit when it came to today's decision. It will leave Johnson with just one left-handed reliever in his bullpen for the next 11 days until Krol returns.

"I'm not real comfortable with it, but it's the best thing for right now," Johnson said. "We've got some other things with some players that need to get some playing time and make some judgements on them."

Overall, Krol - who was acquired by the Nats as a player to be named later in the Michael Morse trade this winter - pitched to a 3.24 ERA over 25 innings. This will be his first stint at Triple-A.

Ohlendorf has a 1.85 ERA in 10 games (two starts) with the Nats this season. He's moving into a spot in the rotation vacated when the Nats placed Taylor Jordan on the DL and shut him down for the season due to a team-imposed innings limit.

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