Nationals recall RHP Irvin, activate Vargas

The Washington Nationals recalled right-handed pitcher Jake Irvin from Triple-A Rochester, returned from rehab and reinstated infielder Ildemaro Vargas from the Injured List and optioned infielder Jeter Downs to Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday. The Nationals optioned right-handed pitcher Cory Abbott on Tuesday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.

Irvin, 26, is scheduled to start and make his Major League debut tonight against the Chicago Cubs. He joins the Nationals after beginning the season with Triple-A Rochester. In his last start on April 26 against St. Paul (MIN), Irvin struck out six in 5.1 innings and allowed two runs on five hits and three walks. In five starts for the Red Wings in 2023, Irvin is 2-2 with a 5.64 ERA (14 ER/22.1 IP), working at least 5.0 innings in four of his last five outings since April 8.

A native of Edina, Minn., Irvin was selected by the Nationals in the fourth round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft from the University of Oklahoma. In four Minor League seasons, he is 11-14 with a 3.80 ERA in 65 games (61 starts).

Irvin was added to Washington’s 40-man roster following the 2022 season and has the “Best Control” in Washington’s system, per Baseball America. With his start today, he will become the 25th pitcher drafted/signed and developed by the Washington Nationals to start a game for Washington (2005-pres.).

Vargas returns to Washington after missing 18 games with a right shoulder strain. He played in seven games for the Nationals before his injury going 1-for-12 with a walk and two runs scored. Vargas played in three games on rehab assignment for Triple-A Rochester and went 1-for-10 with a walk.

In 53 games for the Nationals in 2022, Vargas hit .280 with 13 doubles, three home runs, 19 RBI, five walks and three stolen bases.

Abbott, 27, made one appearance for the Nationals. He allowed one run on two hits in 2.0 innings against Chicago (NL) on May 1. 

Downs, 24, played in one game for Washington. He went 0-for-1 with a walk in game two of a doubleheader against Pittsburgh on April 29.

Please see the attached document the updated 26-man roster.

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