The Washington Nationals recalled infielder Wilmer Difo on Friday and optioned right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole to Triple-A Syracuse. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Difo, 23, returns to the Nationals after a 10-day stint with Triple-A Syracuse in which he played in 10 games and was 7-for-40 (.175) with two doubles, an RBI and five walks. A member of the Nationals’ Opening Day 25-man roster, Difo is hitting .184 (16-for-87) with two doubles, one triple, one home run, five RBI and six walks in 40 games with the Major League club this season.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Difo is a career .218 hitter in 86 career Major League games, including five doubles, one triple, two home runs, 12 RBI, 14 walks and four stolen bases.
Cole, 25, did not appear in a game during his second Major League assignment of the season. The right-hander was with Washington’s big league club from May 2-12 and made one start, throwing 6.0 innings of one-run ball (four walks, two strikeouts) in a 6-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on May 6. In Triple-A this season, Cole is 3-2 with a 5.68 ERA in 10 starts. In four starts from May 20-June 8, Cole posted a 2.81 ERA and averaged 6.1 innings per start.