The Nationals called up another recent addition to the organization this morning, promoting Alex Call from Triple-A Rochester and throwing him right into the lineup as their leadoff hitter and starting left fielder for their series finale against the Padres.
Fellow outfielder Josh Palacios was optioned back to Rochester to clear a roster spot.
Call, 27, has only been in the Nationals organization one week. After making his major league debut for the Guardians last month, he was sent down to Triple-A Columbus, then designated for assignment. The Nats swooped in and claimed him off waivers, assigning him to Rochester, where he didn’t stay long.
In five games with the Red Wings, Call went 8-for-18 with two doubles, two homers, six RBIs, two walks and three stolen bases. The next thing he knew, he was on a 6:40 a.m. flight from Rochester to Reagan National Airport and came straight to Nationals Park for today’s 12:05 p.m. game.
“Honestly, anytime you’re in the big leagues, it’s pretty special,” he said. “I just think about all the work that’s gone in, all the people that have helped me get here. Ultimately, I’m just trying to stick with my routines and help this team win.”
Originally a third-round pick of the White Sox in 2016, Call was traded to Cleveland in December 2018 for first baseman Yonder Alonso. He put up big numbers at Triple-A this season, hitting .292/.423/.521 with 13 homers, 52 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 76 combined games with Columbus and Rochester.
That led to his first promotion to the majors shortly before the All-Star break. Call mostly came off the bench for the Guardians, taking only 16 plate appearances in 12 games, going 2-for-12 with four walks and four strikeouts before he was optioned back to Columbus two weeks ago.
Call becomes the 51st player to appear in a game for the Nationals this season. They set a club record last season with 60 players used.