The Washington Nationals returned from rehab assignment and reinstated right-handed pitcher Jonathan Papelbon on Monday, and optioned outfielder Michael A. Taylor to Triple-A Syracuse. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Papelbon, 35, returns to the Nationals after missing 19 games with a right intercostal strain. The veteran closer appeared in three rehab games with Single-A Potomac (June 27) and Double-A Harrisburg (July 1 & 2). He threw a scoreless inning each time out, walking one and striking out three in the 3.0 IP. He did not allow a hit.
With 365 career saves to his name, Papelbon ranks 10th on Major League Baseball's all-time saves list (and third among active players). At the time he was placed on the disabled list (June 14), he ranked seventh in the National League with 16 saves, and he has converted 23 of 27 save opportunities since joining the Nationals on July 29, 2015. In spite of his absence the last three weeks, Papelbon's 16 saves are still good for 10th in the NL.
Taylor, 25, is hitting .225 (43-for-191) in 60 games this season. Starting 41 of those 60 games in the outfield for Washington, Taylor has clubbed 10 doubles and six home runs, stolen 10 bases, driven in 12 runs, walked 10 times and scored 25 runs.