Nationals send Todd Coffey to DL, recall Collin Balester

The Nationals made an unexpected roster move this morning, putting reliever Todd Coffey on the disabled list with a left calf strain. In his place, they recalled Collin Balester, the final reliever left off the roster out of spring training, from Triple-A Syracuse.

Coffey last pitched on April 8 in New York, so his DL placement is retroactive to April 9. He’d be eligible to come off the disabled list next Sunday, when the Nationals are in Pittsburgh.

Balester, who had a 2.57 ERA in 17 bullpen appearances last year, looked like a strong candidate to make the team out of spring training. But when the Nationals decided to keep Rule 5 pick Brian Broderick, there was no room for Balester, and the fact he had a minor league option left made him expendable. He’d worked five shutout innings in three appearances for Syracuse, striking out six in that time.