The Washington Nationals reinstated right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer from the 10-day disabled list on Monday, returned from rehab assignment and reinstated outfielder Jayson Werth from the 60-day disabled list, and optioned outfielders Rafael Bautista and Andrew Stevenson to Triple-A Syracuse. Additionally, infielder Stephen Drew (left abdominal strain) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.
Scherzer, 33, returns to the Nationals’ active roster after just the second disabled list stint of his Major League career. The 2016 National League Cy Young Award winner missed two starts (12 games) with inflammation in the left side of his neck. Scherzer currently leads all Major League pitchers in opponent batting average (.171), WHIP (0.85), and opponent OPS (.552). He also leads all National League pitchers in WAR (5.0), strikeouts (220), K/9.0 IP (12.35), and opponent slugging percentage (.316).
Werth, 38, rejoins the Nationals after missing 75 games with a left foot contusion. The veteran outfielder appeared in six rehab games (three with Triple-A Syracuse, three with Single-A Potomac), going 3-for-13 with a double, a run, and four walks. Before his injury, suffered when he fouled a ball into his foot at Oakland, Werth was hitting .262 with a .367 on-base percentage and a .446 slugging percentage this season. In 47 games, Werth has clubbed five doubles, one triple, and eight home runs, walking 27 times, stealing four bases, scoring 28 runs and driving in 18.
Bautista, 24, joined the Nationals on Sunday for the second Major League assignment of the season and his career. The right-handed-hitting outfielder was 2-for-4 with a run scored in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader against the New York Mets. Bautista also appeared in five games for the Nationals in April/May, making his Major League debut April 30 vs. New York, and picking up his first Major League hit on May 6 at Philadelphia. In 50 Minor League games this season, Bautista has hit .266 with 11 doubles, one triple, 11 walks, 11 RBI, eight stolen bases and 28 runs scored.
Stevenson, 23, appeared in 29 games for the Nationals after getting the call to make his Major League debut on July 23 at Arizona. The speedy outfielder hit .167 (8-for-48) in his initial Major League assignment, clubbing two doubles, walking five times, stealing one base and driving in a run. Stevenson showed off his versatile defensive skills with multiple rangy plays, including a game-winning catch in left field against Miami on Aug. 10.
Drew, 34, has been on the disabled list since July 29 (retroactive to July 26) with a left abdominal strain. The veteran infielder is hitting .253 in 46 games this season with seven doubles, one home run, 17 RBI, eight walks and nine runs scored.