Nationals option Krol, activate Ohlendorf

Nationals option Krol, activate Ohlendorf
August 21, 2013, 10:00 am
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CHICAGO — Needing to clear a roster spot for Ross Ohlendorf, who will come off the disabled list to start Wednesday, the Nationals optioned left-hander Ian Krol to Class AAA following Tuesday night's 4-2 victory over the Cubs.

Krol's stay in Syracuse won't be long; manager Davey Johnson said the reliever will return when rosters expand September 1.

"He's going to be back in 10 days with the expanded rosters," Johnson said. "I hate to miss him, because he's still learning up here. But he's got a heck of a future."

The 22-year-old burst onto the scene in June, going 10 appearances before allowing his first major-league run and posting a 1.72 ERA through his first 15 outings. But Krol (the player to be named in January's Michael Morse trade) began to struggle after that. Over his last 12 games, he owns a 5.79 ERA, putting 18 men on base in only 9 1/3 innings.

Krol's demotion leaves the Nationals with a six-man bullpen and only one left-hander Fernando Abad, who has also struggled in recent weeks.

"I'm not real comfortable with it, but it's the best thing for right now," Johnson said. "We've got some other things with some players that need to get some playing time and make some judgements on them."

Johnson revealed that the club's original plan was to release Roger Bernadina to clear space for Ohlendorf, who has missed the last three weeks with shoulder inflammation. But Monday's surprise acquisition of outfielder David DeJesus via a waiver-claim trade forced the release of Bernadina a day early.

It also left the Nationals in a position where they had to either send a reliever down Tuesday night or option outfielder/first baseman Tyler Moore, who is 4-for-7 since his return from Class AAA and is expected to receive more playing time at first base against left-handers.

Thus, Krol became the odd man out.

"We were going to use Bernadina's spot for Ohlendorf," Johnson said. "So when we picked up another player [DeJesus], we had to do something with the pitching staff. [Krol] is going to Syracuse, and he's still learning. It'll help him to get in a bunch of games and work on a few things. He'll be back, but he's got a heck of a future here."