WASHINGTON -- The Nationals almost certainly rounded up their September callups on Tuesday afternoon, adding two more players to their active roster, including their top prospect.
Right-hander Lucas Giolito, the team's No. 1 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, and infielder Wilmer Difo were recalled prior to Tuesday's game against the Braves. Because they were sent to the Minors less than 10 days before Sept. 1, both players had to wait until Triple-A Syracuse's season ended Monday to return to the Majors.
Giolito returns to the Majors, where he has made four starts with the Nationals this season, though he has not been able to replicate the success he has had in the Minors. He made 22 starts and pitched at three levels of the Minors this season, with a 2.97 ERA and 116 strikeouts compared to 44 walks in 115 1/3 innings. However, Giolito has struggled in Washington, with a 5.63 ERA with seven strikeouts and 11 walks in 16 innings.
It is possible Giolito's next start in the Majors will come soon.
The Nationals have yet to reveal their starter for Wednesday's game against the Braves, and Washington is hoping Strasburg will be ready to be activated from the DL then. If Strasburg needs more time, both A.J. Cole and Giolito would be set to start Wednesday on regular rest.
Difo has played in 18 games for the Nationals this year at second base, shortstop and third base. His return gives the Nationals a true backup infielder and a chance to give Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa, both of whom lead the team in games played, a rare day off.
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.