Nationals

Nationals demote Kieboom, reinstate Doolittle

Nationals

The Nationals reinstated Sean Doolittle from the 10-day injured list Wednesday and sent prospect Carter Kieboom to the alternate training site in Fredericksburg on Wednesday afternoon.

Doolittle was placed on the 10-day injured list Aug. 13 retroactive to Aug. 11 because of right knee fatigue. Doolittle was extremely ineffective in his five appearances this season, racking up a 15.00 ERA because his primary pitch, his fastball, was ostensibly lifeless.

Kieboom was provided the starting position at third base following Anthony Rendon’s departure in free agency during the offseason. He started out well before a significant and prolonged tail off during August. Kieboom departs with a .559 OPS, a perpetually late bat and mounting frustration. After grounding into a double play Tuesday night, he pulled his helmet off and slammed it on his leg. He also later could be heard at the end of the dugout shouting in frustration following another double play.

Asdrúbal Cabrera will take over at third base. He’s been in the middle of the lineup all season and has played quality defense. The question is how long he will hold up. Davey Martinez said Wednesday that Cabrera, 34, is currently sore after fouling a ball off his foot last week. Though, the Nationals have no choice but to play him now. Howie Kendrick and Eric Thames will share duties at first base and designated hitter. What once was a deep pool of players to work at first base and designated hitter has now dwindled to almost not enough.

The Nationals enter play Wednesday with an 11-16 record, which puts them in front of just two teams in the National League by winning percentage. Stephen Strasburg had surgery on Wednesday. Seth Romero will have surgery on his non-throwing hand this week. Starlin Castro had surgery on his right wrist last Friday. Their starting rotation is under-performing. And the season is almost half over.