The Nationals announced they’ve reinstated infielder Starlin Castro from the restricted list. Also returning to the active roster is right-hander Austin Voth, who’s been on the 10-day injured list due to a broken nose. Reliever Ryne Harper was optioned to Triple-A Rochester, while outfielder Andrew Stevenson has been placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to June 17, with an oblique strain. Additionally, righty Rogelio Armenteros, who was designated for assignment earlier this week, has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Rochester.
Castro went on the restricted list earlier this week to attend a personal matter. He’ll return after a three-day absence. Castro, who has started 62 of the Nationals 65 games this season at third base, will return to his customary role at the hot corner. He’ll look to right the ship after a brutal start to the campaign. The 31-year-old has hit just .239/.287/.312 over 254 plate appearances, a far cry from his generally average offensive output the three seasons prior. Castro, who is in the final season of a two-year, $12MM contract with the fourth-place Nats, could be a potential trade candidate before the July 30 deadline, although he’ll need to substantially pick up his performance at the plate to attract much interest.
Voth returns after a minimal IL stint, a fortunate development given the scariness of his injury. The 28-year-old was struck in the face by a Vince Velasquez pitch during his first start of the season. Voth, who has otherwise spent the entire year working out of the bullpen, has pitched to a solid 2.73 ERA/3.70 SIERA in 29 2/3 innings.
The Nationals will keep Armenteros in the organization without devoting him a 40-man roster spot. Washington claimed the 26-year-old off waivers from the Diamondbacks last winter. Once a decently regarded prospect in the Houston system, Armenteros made his MLB debut with the Astros in 2019. He tossed 18 innings of 4.00 ERA/4.08 SIERA ball that year but missed last season with bone spurs in his elbow. The righty has spent all of 2021 in Rochester, struggling over seven starts. Through 29 1/3 Triple-A frames, Armenteros has managed just a 5.83 ERA while walking an uncharacteristically high 14.2% of opposing hitters. He’ll stick around with the Red Wings and look to pitch his way back onto the 40-man roster at some point this year.